8 Nov 2013

Operation to remove Fukushima fuel rods

6:11 am on 8 November 2013

Nuclear engineers in Japan are preparing to move more than 1000 fuel rods from the crippled Fukushima power plant, in a difficult and dangerous operation.

The tubes have been stored in a pool in a building which was badly damaged by an explosionfollowing the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The BBC reports the fuel rods are currently in a precarious state in a storage pool in Unit 4. Moving the rods to safety is a high priority but has become possible only after months of repair work and planning.

The fuel rods are four-metre tubes containing pellets of uranium fuel and the fear is that some may have been damaged during the disaster.

The task of removing each batch of 22 rods by crane will take seven to 10 days.