Tokyo Electric Power Co. is giving thought to removing unused nuclear fuel stored in the pool of the No. 4 reactor of its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant as early as July, sources said.
The issue was expected to be discussed at a May 28 meeting between central government and TEPCO officials to determine medium- and long-term measures for decommissioning the reactors at the stricken facility northeast of Tokyo.
Of 1,535 fuel rods stored in the No. 4 reactor pool, 204 have not yet been used.
Unused fuel rods give off only small amounts of heat so removing those from the pool poses less risk.
TEPCO technicians will experiment with the removal of a few unused fuel rods and confirm the condition to determine what procedures are required to remove the rest, sources said.
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