Crippled Fukushima Reactor Fully Exposed for the First Time Since 2011 Disaster

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

The last cover was removed from the Fukushima-1 Nuclear Plant reactor No. 1, local media reported on November 10. Now all the temporary protective constructions have been demolished, and the reactor is completely exposed for the first time since 2011’s nuclear catastrophe.

Demolition works conducted by the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) have been ongoing for two years. Today a large crane lifted off a 20-ton cover, the last of the 18 panels installed after the event.

The next step is the removal of 392 fuel assemblies from the spent fuel pool and melted nuclear fuel from inside the building, Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reported

According to Japanese national broadcaster NHK, the fuel extraction will only start in four years. TEPCO is currently installing the necessary equipment and assessing the state of the reactor building’s interior in efforts to remove debris from the collapsed roof over the spent nuclear fuel pool.


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