Fukushima Unit 3 Spent Fuel – All Removed

Another milestone at Fukushima Daiichi was achieved yesterday. On February 26th, 2021 the last of the spent fuel was removed from the spent fuel pool at unit 3. 12 of the assemblies had been found to be damaged on earlier inspections. The last of the damaged assemblies were removed this week.


Damaged spent fuel assembly being transferred to the common pool.

Work to remove the spent fuel involved years or removing building debris and damaged equipment from the pool, including the large fuel handling crane. A special building was constructed to shield workers and provide needed equipment to remove the spent fuel.


Damaged fuel assembly removed from the unit 3 spent fuel pool among debris resting on fuel racks.

All of the removed spent fuel from unit 3 is now stored in the common pool building on site. This fuel will eventually be transferred to dry storage casks and be stored up on the hill.


Specialized transit cask made for carrying two damaged assemblies at a time.

Unit 4’s spent fuel pool has been completely emptied in previous years. Unit 2’s spent fuel pool is scheduled to begin spent fuel removal in 2024-2026. Unit 1’s spent fuel is scheduled to start in 2027-2028. Units 5 & 6 currently do not have a date scheduled for their spent fuel removal. Unit 6’s pool currently houses all of the offloaded fuel from unit 4’s spent fuel pool in addition to the spent fuel located there at the time of the disaster.

TEPCO handout: https://www.tepco.co.jp/decommission/information/newsrelease/reference/pdf/2021/1h/rf_20210226_2.pdf

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