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Builders submit plans to dismantle Fukushima plant

by Open-Publishing - Tuesday 19 April 2011

Nuclear International

The builders of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have submitted draft plans to dismantle the reactors over the medium to long term.

updated at 21:49 UTC, Apr. 18

Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the plant, issued a schedule on Sunday for putting the crisis under control in 6 to 9 months.

However, various issues remain over the medium term for completely decommissioning the crippled reactors.

Toshiba, which helped build the 2nd and 3rd reactors, has submitted to TEPCO and the industry ministry a draft plan to decommission the plant, jointly with US companies in the nuclear power sector.

The plan states that it will take about 5 years to safely remove nuclear fuel rods from the pools and pressure vessels, and another 5 years to dismantle the reactors and clear the land while removing radioactive materials that leaked outside the plant.

The company says the process may take even longer, depending on the conditions inside the reactors.

Hitachi, which was involved in the construction of the 4th reactor, submitted its draft plan to TEPCO earlier this month.

It states that the complete dismantling of the reactors will take more than 15 years, in view of the lessons learned from past accidents and the fact that 4 reactors broke down simultaneously.

TEPCO is taking these proposals into consideration in studying concrete measures.

Monday, April 18, 2011 00:27 +0900 (JST)