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Fukushima Daiichi Prompt Report
FUEL REMOVAL FROM UNIT 3 SPENT FUEL POOL UNDER WAY AT FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI NPS

Apr 15, 2019

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — TEPCO announced on April 15 that the removal of fuel from the Unit 3 spent fuel pool has begun at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, marking an important step in the site’s ongoing decommissioning.

Removal of the first fuel assembly from its fuel rack to a storage container, also in the pool, began at 8:50AM and the fourth fuel assembly was placed in the container at 5:25PM. All procedures were performed remotely and the process was completed safely without any issues.

Unit 3 was in operation at the time of the accident on March 11, 2011. It lost all power and its reactor could not be cooled due to melted fuel. A large amount of hydrogen gas was generated, resulting in a hydrogen explosion that blew away the upper part of the reactor building, leaving rubble scattered about on the top floor of the building.

The early stage of the recovery work involved removing large pieces of the rubble, followed by decontamination procedures and construction of a radiation shield. Later, a dome-shaped roof cover, fuel-handling machine and crane were all installed on the top of the Unit 3 reactor building.

The plan going forward is to fill the container with seven fuel assemblies, seal the container with a lid and then remove the container from the pool to the ground level before placing another lid on top. The container will then be transported by trailer to a common on-site pool for fuel assemblies.

The Unit 3 pool holds 514 spent-fuel assemblies and 52 unused-fuel assemblies. The removal of all 566 fuel assemblies is expected to finish in March 2021.

TEPCO will continue to move forward with these and other decommissioning operations, keeping safety and environmental protection as its top priorities at all times.

For a video of this work: https://www4.tepco.co.jp/en/news/library/archive-e.html?video_uuid=kuhqwcf7&catid=69631

For general information on this work: https://www7.tepco.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/handouts_190415_01-e.pdf

For information on work progress: https://www7.tepco.co.jp/responsibility/decommissioning/action/spent_fuel/unit3-e.html

About TEPCO

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO) is Japan's largest power company group, holding three independent business entities: TEPCO Fuel & Power, Inc., TEPCO Power Grid, Inc., and TEPCO Energy Partner, Inc. As a group, it generates, distributes, and sells electricity and other types of energy principally to the Kanto metropolitan area, which includes Japan's two most populous cities, Tokyo and Yokohama. The TEPCO Group’s 41,525 employees are committed to providing safe, reliable power as well as fulfilling its responsibilities to the communities of Fukushima (as of March 31, 2018).

・TEPCO Website: http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html

・TEPCO Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTEPCOen

・TEPCO Twitter page: https://twitter.com/TEPCO_English

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