The operator of Japan’s ruined Fukushima nuclear power plant began removing the first of 566 spent and unspent radioactive fuel rods stored in a pool at the plant’s third reactor.
A radiation-hardened robot had first located the melted uranium fuel inside the reactor in 2017. The rods are dangerous partly because the pools are not enclosed, and they could be vulnerable in the event of another major earthquake.
There are 1,573 fuel rods still inside the storage pools of the three reactors that melted down in 2011, the Kyodo News agency reported on Monday. Tokyo Electric said that the cleanup at the third reactor would take just under two years, and that it planned to eventually remove uranium from all three reactors.