TEPCO to remove fuel rods from Fukushima plant’s reactor 4

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) will remove used fuel rods from the crippled reactor 4 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

Representing one of the three Fukushima reactors that were damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the reactor 4 features more than 1,500 nuclear fuel rods in the storage pool, which is expected to be emptied by the end of 2014, China Central Television reports.

The process is scheduled to be carried out using a remote-controlled crane, and marks the first step toward a full cleanup of the nuclear plant.

The removed fuel will be placed into a protective cask and subsequently transferred to a joint cooling pool inside a building, which is located approximately 100 meters away.

Removal of fuel rods from pools of the three other damaged reactors is expected to be carried out over the next several years, as reported earlier by the news agency.