TEPCO has released photos of the first fuel successfully removed from the fuel racks at unit 4. NHK reports the removal of some of the unused fuel from the pool to the transfer cask. TEPCO estimates it may take a week to load the first cask of 22 fuel assemblies before they can remove it from the pool.
From TEPCO’s press release distributed via email:
“Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 18, 2013-TEPCO announced today that they have started the fuel removal from the Unit 4 spent fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi NPS. The start of fuel removal from the pool marks an important milestone in the decommissioning work at the site. The extraction work started at 3:18PM and the first fuel completed its extraction from the fuel rack to the cask placed inside the pool at 3:57PM as planned, following thorough safety preparations with the cooperation of many partner companies and individual workers.
Preparation work started from 9:50AM. The cask to carry the fuel was placed into the spent fuel pool and reached the bottom of the pool at 12:30PM. 22 unused fuels will be moved to the cask a task which is planned to be completed by November 19. After being filled with fuel, the cask will be closed with a lid, and following decontamination, will be taken down to ground level and transported to the common spent fuel pool on a trailer. It is planned to take approximately one week from placing the fuel into the cask at the spent fuel pool to storing it in the common pool. The entire removal of all fuel inside the Unit 4 spent fuel pool is planned to take until the end of 2014.”
TEPCO also released a follow up press release at the end of the day via email:
“Fukushima, Japan, Nov. 18, 2013-TEPCO announced today that they have completed the first day work for fuel removal from the Unit 4 spent fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi NPS. Four fuel assemblies were loaded into the cask, and all the work for the day completed at 6:45PM.”
NHK also has a brief video of the work
There are also a number of large format images of this work put out today by TEPCO.
View full sized versions of these images on our Flickr page
TEPCO also released this handout on today’s work:
Asahi Shimbun published this video taken from the air that shows workers proceeding into the defueling building of unit 4.
Cask truck backing into the defueling building. Image by Kyodo News helicopter
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