TEPCO Gives Up N-Fuel Debris Removal in 2021

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 23 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> has abandoned a plan to start the removal of melted nuclear fuel debris at a disaster-crippled reactor in Fukushima Prefecture in 2021, informed sources said.

The start of the removal, at the No. 2 reactor of TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, is expected to be postponed to 2022, the sources said.

The postponement comes as the coronavirus pandemic led to a delay in operation checks for a 22-meter-long British robot arm to be used in the removal. The checks were initially expected to begin in August.

The plant was damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, causing meltdowns at the No. 1 to No. 3 reactors. TEPCO and the government plan to conduct the debris removal first at the No. 2 reactor.

The removal is the most difficult stage of the decommissioning project for the plant, which is expected to take about 30 to 40 years. Concerns are emerging over a possible delay in the entire schedule due to the postponement of the debris removal.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press