JAPAN | Fukushima fuel rods removal can begin in 10 years

Posted on July 9, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | Sunday, July 10, 2011 02:12 +0900 (JST)

An expert on decommissioning nuclear power plants says work to remove fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant can begin in 10 years.

Koji Okamoto made the comments in an interview with NHK on Saturday.

Okamoto said the reactors and the containment vessels at the Fukushima plant were thought to be destroyed in a meltdown.

He said the situation in Fukushima is 10 to 20 times worse than what happened at Three Mile Island, where only a small portion of the fuel rods melted down, all of which remained inside the reactor.

He said with experience gained from the Three Mile Island accident, the planned 10-year span is possible.

Asked about residents’ hope of returning home, he said some people within a 20-kilometer radius of the plant may be able to go home if the radioactive contamination is properly controlled as suggested in the plan.

However, he said even a small amount of radioactive material from the fuel rods poses a danger and that TEPCO needs to disclose information quickly and accurately for the safety of residents .

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