A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be paying a visit once again to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to review the decommissioning plans of the utility operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO). The Japanese government requested the evaluation so they could further see if the efforts they have been doing to curb the problems at the plant are on the right track.
The IAEA will be sending a team of 19 experts from November 25 to December 4 and study both the government’s and TEPCO‘s steps towards cleaning up the plant and at the same time start the decommissioning of the broken nuclear reactors which went into meltdown after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. They will be paying attention in particular to the efforts to contain the contaminated water at the 3 crippled reactors and the removal of the spent fuel assemblies from nuclear reactor No. 4. The team will be meeting with officials in Tokyo first before proceeding to Fukushima.
The process of removing the fuel rods is a tricky and dangerous operation but one that is necessary to take the first steps in the decommissioning which is expected to last for decades. TEPCO on Tuesday released a video of what goes on in the process, which officially started on Monday. This has been the most difficult undertaking that the workers have done since the event in 2011, considered one of the worst nuclear accidents in recent history.
[ via Channel News Asia ]