Robot issue delays fuel removal from nuclear power plant

Crews will have to wait a while longer to remove damaged fuel from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. A remote-controlled robot arm must be repaired in order to remove the fuel rods the plant devised by a tsunami in 2011.

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World News

August 25, 2022 - 3:21 PM

AEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi visits TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant during his official visit to Japan in 2020. The DG is accompanied by Edgard Perez Alvan, Assistant to the DG and IAEA Deputy Coordinator, Michael Farnitano, Head, IAEA Tokyo Regional Office, Fredrik Dahl, IAEA Section Head (Media, Multimedia and Public Outreach) Office of Public Information and Communication and HE Mr. Takeshi Hikihara, Resident Representative of Japan to the IAEA Photo by Photo Credit: Dean Calma / IAEA / Flickr.com

TOKYO (AP) — The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant said Thursday it is further postponing the start of the removal of highly radioactive melted fuel from its damaged reactors because of delays in the development of a remote-controlled robotic arm.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings had originally planned to begin removing melted fuel from the Unit 2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant last year, 10 years after the disaster triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

That plan was postponed until later this year, and now will be delayed further until about autumn next year because of additional work needed to improve the performance of the robotic arm, TEPCO said.

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