Ever since the Fukishima nuclear power plant disaster back in 2011, the Japanese government and authorities have been busy in cleaning up the facility. The company behind the plant has now been granted permission to transfer nearly 1,000 fuel rods from the Fukushima plant to another location.
Of the fuel rods that currently sit in a pool inside one of Fukushima plant’s reactors, 200 are new while 1300 have been spent. The fuel rods aren’t exactly heavy or huge, sized at nearly 13 feet each. Nonetheless, each of them will have to pulled out one at a time, to mitigate any dangers of nuclear radiation.
According to the chairman of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, Shunichi Tanaka, “Handling spent fuels involves huge risks. It would be a disaster if radioactive materials comes out of the metal rods during the work.” For the purpose of extracting these rods, a new crane is be constructed. Once the crane is successful in extracting these fuel rods, they will be moved to a different storage facility where dangers from radiation leaks would be minimal.
The work is certainly high-risk and TEPCO as well as the Japanese government are collaborating on the effort in an attempt to make it as safe as possible. It is expected that the work on this will begin some time during this month. If TEPCO is able to pull it off successfully, this will go a long way in mitigating the hazards posed by the damaged Fukushima plant.
Courtesy: The Verge