Due to International Pressure, Tepco Agrees to Start Removing Radioactive Fuel from Fukushima Fuel Pool a Year Early

Good News … For a Change

Tepco was going to wait until late 2013 to even begin to start addressing the greatest threat to humanity.

There is some good news.

Specifically – due to international pressure – Tepco has agreed to speed up the timetable.  As Reuters notes:

Workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will begin removing fuel rods from a damaged reactors a year ahead of schedule, a government minister said Thursday, a move to address concerns about the risk of a new quake that could cause a further accident and scatter more radioactive debris.


“We would like to start taking out undamaged fuel this year. Preparation is now under way,” Japan’s nuclear crisis minister, Goshi Hosono, told Reuters in an interview.

“Doing it quickly is important. But we also have to make sure those workers out there, who are struggling under harsh conditions, will not be endangered by trying to move things fast.”

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  • Longjohn

    I wouldn’t believe a word they say and I wouldn’t trust them based on their recent history of lie after lie after lie day after day after day

    All they are interested in is starting up the rest of the Nukes and they’ll say anything to make that possible …. I won’t believe it until I actually see them do it

    BTW no one seems to be covering the mass protests in Japan, 40,000+ Friday and they are expecting at least 100,000 next Friday … Leading the protests is Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe, who started an anti-nuclear petition that has so far gathered more than 7.5 million signatures.

    Time for a Occupy Nuke Street ….

  • Robert Callaghan

    hurry up slowly, haste makes waste ( as in the upper hemisphere ).

  • Grace

    It is too late. If those fuel rods and containment areas are not completely neutralized by the end of July the Japanese citizens will have nothing to worry about except relocation restitution for the children. The only needs left will be hospice,medical insurance, and final burial expenses for the adults.

    Then immediately after it will be America’s turn.

  • robertsgt40

    Well, that didn’t take long. A year of spewing radiation around the planet. Between Fukushima and BP in the Gulf of Mexico, the world is a little closer to extinction.

  • Big M

    They’re doing it because the typhoon knocked down the roof in Reactor 4.

  • Rudy

    This may be good news, but it’s also not the sort of thing that should be done as a rush job. If they are too careless they could end up causing the sort of further catastrophe they are trying to avoid.

    Is there anything conclusive on whether the roof to unit 4 was blown off or intentionally removed? The timing suggests the former. Also, if they had done it intentionally, I would think they would have announced this as progress in the overall operation. But has any footage emerged of the roof actually being blown off (rather than just footage showing it is gone)?

  • Nuclear power, Subsidized by the goverments of the countries where they are built. Un-insurable as their is to much risk so the citizens of the countries where they are located pay for the damages caused by their incompetence. Then they use the material to create nuclear bombs to terrorize the very countries whom subsidized them.. Is Nuclear a good idea? Do you trust your government? Can they be trusted? Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • n.a.t.o. should be organizing to fight this catastrophe instead of organizing [and paying for] terrorists to kill the people of Syria. The same terrorists that have killed n.a.t.o. troops. Wahabis and jihadis are nothing more than self-serving, self-delusional mercenary terrorists. Hillary clinton & susan rice, obomba’s war witches, should be immediatly releaved from duty. obomba should be impeached NOW. 25th amendment sec. 2. and congress should elect us a new president. 2/3rds = 357 people/congress men and women can do this!!! signed Ralph Coffman [officially registered candidate for president of the United States of America… Hope to see you all at the National Independent Convention in Bangor,Maine July 27,28,29 2012.

  • michael mazur

    They have more than ten of thousand of these fuel rods in the Fukushima/Daichi complex.

    What were these turkeys thinking a year ago that they didn’t realise that these rods would simply have to be relocated, one by one, to the permanent storage of the Japan Trench ?

    It is off the eastern coast of Japan, 800km long, 9km at its deepest, b/n 1.8 and 36km wide.

    Plenty of floor space ! Plenty of ice cold water at that depth to keep cool the `hottest rods` !

    With the advantage (yes) that Japan being a earthquake zone, which while precipitating the tsunami of last year, can be used to advantage in that the Pacific Plate subducts under Japan itself at the rate of 2 inches a year which would mean that over the next thousands of years all the rods will have been drawn under the earth’s crust.

    Nuclear power is not dangerous – park all nuclear reactors off shore for about 40yrs, and then tow them to a suitably deep ocean Trench, and that’s it, and safely forget them.

  • Brian

    In large part to you that Tepco is doing anything.

  • Spent fuel is the “greatest threat to humanity”? Let’s see…no-one who has actually studied the spent fuel situation at F. Daiichi unit #4 says anything like that. In fact, actual research says the structure holding the fuel bundles has been reinforced such that it can now withstand a quake 7.9 times worse than the 3/11/11 temblor. The only ones who say otherwise are speculating on supposition supported by rumor and innuendo…anti-nuclear snake-oil salesmen (and saleswomen). It seems that the phobic fear fomented by apocalyptic fabrications are many, many times a greater threat to humanity than posed by the spent fuel pools at Fukushima.

  • I am one of the original, modern environmental/no nukes/cleaner and safer energy activists since around the first “EARTH DAY” (April 22, 1970) over 42 years ago. I am the President of the Chicago-based Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), “Chicago’s Nuclear Power Watchdog Group,” which celebrated its 30th anniversary last fall. Regarding the “disaster-still-in progress” at the Fukushima nuclear complex, here are some points and questions from NEIS Director Dave Kraft and myself which deserve serious consideration: This entire “episode” merely reinforces the view long held by nuclear-free activists and groups that the “nuclear ‘power failure'” (get it?) is an inherently ‘dirty’ and unsafe [too] complex technology which is extremely vulnerable to a wide range of unanticipated qualitatively serious “events” in the real world–we do not live in a “technological paradise” where “nothing can go wrong, nothing can go wrong, nothing can go wrong….” How is Tepco going to safely remove the fuel bundles from a storage pool about five stories above the ground, from a structurally unsound building with an inoperative pool crane? Where is Tepco going to take the removed fuel rods? [The “proposal” (to use that term loosely) to simply dump these fuel rods offshore in the deep ocean “Japan Trench” is a dangerous and impractical ‘technical fix’ which discounts the problem of widespread contamination of the ocean with radionuclide pollution.] What if some of the bundles and rods are damaged, or get damaged during the “off-loading?” How many shipping casks does Tepco have available to move the fuel rods? How will the workers be protected during this operation? What “emergency preparedness capabilities” does Tepco have in place at the reactor, and for the surrounding area, if something goes wrong? One of the biggest misconceptions what the “pronuclear cheerleaders” have long repeated is that “Japan has no energy resources of its own to replace oil so it must use nuclear power!” In reality, Japan (just as the United States) has ample [ still underutilized] technically and economically feasible potential for greatly increased energy efficiency, combined heat-and-power, and appropriate renewable energy technologies to replace all of its nuclear reactors. We need to remove all of the U.S. subsidies going to the nuclear power industry as soon as possible–including the loan guarantees for new nuclear reactor construction, and the Price-Anderson Act (which limits the liability of utilities like Exelon in the event of a major disaster).