TEPCO moves spent nuclear fuel to storage pool at Fukushima No. 2 plant

October 03, 2012

By TERUHIKO NOSE/ Staff Writer

FUKUSHIMA--Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Oct. 2 continued to transfer spent nuclear fuel from the core of the No. 4 reactor to a storage pool at the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant.

TEPCO plans to remove all 764 fuel assemblies in the No. 4 reactor by late October and keep them under control in storage in one location.

The utility will start inspecting damage in the reactor in late November.

The Fukushima No. 2 plant automatically shut down after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck in March 2011. The disaster crippled TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to the north.

The spent-fuel transfer started on Oct. 1 after the No. 4 reactor's fuel cooling functions returned to pre-quake levels.

Specialized equipment pulls up the fuel assemblies, about 4.5 meters in length, and transfers them to the storage pool about 15 meters away in the reactor building.

TEPCO also plans to start moving spent nuclear fuel in the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors as soon as their cooling functions are restored.

Company officials said it will take until the end of 2014 to complete the transfer of all spent fuel to storage pools at the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant.

By TERUHIKO NOSE/ Staff Writer
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A spent nuclear fuel assembly, center foreground, is set in a storage pool at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant on Oct. 2. (Satoru Ogawa)

A spent nuclear fuel assembly, center foreground, is set in a storage pool at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant on Oct. 2. (Satoru Ogawa)

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  • A spent nuclear fuel assembly, center foreground, is set in a storage pool at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant on Oct. 2. (Satoru Ogawa)

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