Tokyo: Japan has started removing fuel from a cooling pool at one of the three reactors of Fukushima nuclear plant that melted down during the 2011 tsunami disaster, announced Tokyo Electric Power Co on Monday.
There are a total of 566 used and unused fuel units in the pool which are intact despite the disaster. However, authorities have noted that pools are not enclosed so removing the units to a safer ground is mandatory to avoid disaster in case of another earthquake.
According to Al Jazeera, the whole process of cleaning the pool, which is being done underwater to avoid radiation leaks, would take two years.
Workers are using a specially built crane that raises fuel from a fuel unit and places it into a protective cask. The work is being monitored from a control room about 500 meters away as robotic probes have detected traces of damaged nuclear fuel in all three reactors that had meltdowns.
In 2011, a major earthquake of magnitude 9.0 jolted Japan. A 15-meter tsunami following the quake disabled the power supply and cooling of three reactors causing the meltdown of the reactors.