- Technology and working conditions for decommissioning process still lacking (Mainichi, March 4, 2014):
Workers at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant began removing spent nuclear fuel rods from the No. 4 reactor’s cooling pool in November 2013. But spent fuel in reactors No. 1, 2 and 3 has remained untouched, and we still lack technology that can withstand high levels of radiation in the decommissioning process. Considering this is a major undertaking that will take up to 40 years, we have barely taken the first step.
A decommissioning roadmap compiled by the government and Fukushima plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) defines the period until removal of spent fuel rods is begun as period 1; the period until the removal of molten fuel in reactors No. 1-3 as period 2; and the period in which molten fuel removal is completed and the reactor buildings are dismantled as period 3.