Continuing cleanup of Fukushima pool

08 February 2013

A large twisted steel truss has been removed from the fuel pool of Fukushima Daiichi 3 as part of efforts to clear debris from the pond and service floor area.

Securing long-term safety for used fuel in the four damaged reactor buildings is the main priority for Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). The storage pools on the top floors of the buildings are littered with heavy concrete and steel wreckage after the hydrogen explosions that followed the core melts of March 2011.

Truss removal at Fukushima Daiichi 3, February 2013 1 (Tepco) 456x332
Formerly part of the building's roof, the truss is lifted from the fuel pool (Image: Tepco)

This week's work saw Tepco remove a large steel truss from unit 3's pool. The operation, during snowy weather, took three hours and 20 minutes and was not without incident. Moving the twisted and partly submerged truss caused a bulky piece of debris, identified by Tepco as the refuelling machine mast, to slip into the water. An investigation confirmed the movement of this 1.5 tonne item had made no significant difference to the pond's water level, chemistry or levels of radioactivity indicating it had done no damage. The truss itself also broke into two pieces in the middle of the job causing a delay.

Truss removal at Fukushima Daiichi 3, February 2013 2 (Tepco) 226x265Truss removal at Fukushima Daiichi 3, February 2013 3 (Tepco) 226x265
Before and after. The truss, highlighted on the left, ran the full length of the pool
(Image: Tepco)

All this steel, concrete and dusty debris must be gradually removed so that Tepco can finally remove the fuel for long-term storage in the plant's common used fuel pool.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News