INTERVIEW-UPDATE 1-Japan nuclear minister speeds up Fukushima cleanup
By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Yoko Kubota
7:53 a.m. CDT, June 21, 2012
Fuel rods in cooling pool have fanned safety worries
Workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will begin removing fuel rods from a damaged reactors a year ahead of schedule, a government minister said Thursday, a move to address concerns about the risk of a new quake that could cause a further accident and scatter more radioactive debris.
“We would like to start taking out undamaged fuel this year. Preparation is now under way,” Japan’s nuclear crisis minister, Goshi Hosono, told Reuters in an interview.
Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) [...] had said in April it aimed to begin removing the fuel rods from the No. 4 reactor at the end of next year.
Tepco says its analysis shows the No.4 reactor building would hold up in a strong earthquake. But Japanese safety regulators ordered Tepco to recheck its findings last month after measurements showed one of the walls of the reactor building was buckling out by about 3 centimetres (1.2 inches).
Published: June 21st, 2012 at 11:42 am ET
- NHK: Fuel rods to be removed from No. 4 fuel pool — Concerns about sea water damage — Special container so fuel doesn’t going critical — Test date not revealed ‘for security reasons’ July 13, 2012
- Damaged Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 had 204 unused fuel rods inserted before quake + Scientists say another 9.0 megaquake may hit at year’s end = “Fukushima is still on the edge” October 29, 2011
- Buckling at Unit No. 4 was likely caused by a quake — Indications that building didn’t ride it out anywhere near as well as we thought (AUDIO & VIDEO) June 29, 2012
- Kyodo: Concern about condition of Fukushima Unit 4 — Fuel rods may get dumped onto ground and burn up in quake — Tepco ‘hastening’ removal December 3, 2012
- Gundersen: Fukushima Unit 4 fuel racks distorted from quake and roof falling into pool — Nuclear rods likely to snap and won’t be able to be removed (AUDIO) September 12, 2013