INTERVIEW: TEPCO Sees N-Fuel Debris Probe as "Big Progress"


Tokyo, March 7 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> chief decommissioning officer has characterized the recent probe into molten nuclear fuel debris at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant as "big progress."

The probe to check the inside of the meltdown-struck plant's No. 2 reactor last month "marked big progress that allows us to plan our future activities better," said the officer, Akira Ono, also president at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination and Decommissioning Engineering Co.

Meanwhile, TEPCO needs to learn lessons from a series of mechanical and other problems at the No. 3 reactor that led to a delay in work to remove fuel rods from the reactor's spent fuel pool, Ono said in a recent interview.

During last month's probe, TEPCO had physical contact with deposits of molten nuclear fuel debris inside the No. 2 reactor containment vessel for the first time since the 2011 nuclear accident at the northeastern Japan plant.

Using a probe equipped with a remote-controlled robotic hand, TEPCO grasped some deposits, such as pebbles, at seven locations inside the vessel.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press