Tuesday June 18, 2019
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Fukushima’s Nuclear Power Plant: Japan Begins Removing Fuel

The three units at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melted down after a major earthquake, followed by a tsunami struck Japan in 2011, killing about 18 thousand people and forced the evacuation of areas near the plant.

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Tour guide Katsuaki Shiga, right, and a tourist check radiation levels at Joroku Park, near Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in Namie town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, May 17, 2018. VOA

The operator of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant began removing fuel rods Monday from one of three reactors that melted down in 2011.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said workers started removing the first of the used and unused fuel units from a cooling pool at reactor 3.

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The three units at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melted down after a major earthquake, followed by a tsunami struck Japan in 2011, killing about 18 thousand people and forced the evacuation of areas near the plant. Pixabay

The operation was was more than four years behind schedule, and had a short further delay Monday afternoon, after a problem with the equipment, but resumed after the mishap was addressed.

TEPCO has estimated that it will take up to two years to remove 566 of nuclear fuel rods from that reactor.

 

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After the cleaning operation at Unit 3, TEPCO expects to continue with the removal of 1000 nuclear fuel rods from the storage pools of reactors one and two. VOA

 

The work is being managed remotely from a control room about 500 meters away, because of high radiation level still present inside the building of Unit 3.

After the cleaning operation at Unit 3, TEPCO expects to continue with the removal of 1000 nuclear fuel rods from the storage pools of reactors one and two.

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The three units at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melted down after a major earthquake, followed by a tsunami struck Japan in 2011, killing about 18 thousand people and forced the evacuation of areas near the plant. (VOA)

Next Story

Japan, China to Agree on Giant Panda Breeding Research

The signing is intended to showcase the continuing thaw in bilateral relations that have been frayed

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Japan, China, Giant Panda, Breeding
Candidate zoos for a new giant panda have already been discussed and they include facilities in Miyagi and Hyogo prefectures. Pixabay

Japan and China are planning to cooperate on breeding research for giant pandas by signing a memorandum later this month when their leaders meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, the media reported.

The signing is intended to showcase the continuing thaw in bilateral relations that have been frayed over territorial and historical issues and paves the way for China’s future lease of another giant panda at the request of Japan, The Japan Times quoted sources as saying on Wednesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to make his first visit to Japan since he came to power in 2013 and a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is being arranged on the sidelines of the June 28 and 29 summit.

According to the report, the memorandum will state that Japan’s Foreign Ministry and Environment Ministry and China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration will cooperate over giant panda breeding.

Japan, China, Giant Panda, Breeding
Japan and China are planning to cooperate on breeding research for giant pandas. Pixabay

It will also enable the two countries to jointly cope with diseases and other breeding problems faced by giant pandas, including those already leased to Japan.

Giant pandas from China are seen as symbols of bilateral friendship. There are now 10 giant pandas in Japan, including leased animals and their offspring.

Three of them reside at the Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo, six live at Adventure World in Wakayama prefecture and one is a resident of Kobe Oji Zoo in Hyogo prefecture.

Most recently, the loan period for giant panda cub Xiang Xiang at Ueno zoo was extended until the end of next year. Beijing has ownership of the cub, born in 2017 at the zoo, and the animal was originally due to be returned to China this month, The Japan Times said.

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The envisioned agreement “will add impetus to efforts to secure the lease of another giant panda”, a senior Foreign Ministry official said.

Candidate zoos for a new giant panda have already been discussed and they include facilities in Miyagi and Hyogo prefectures.

The first giant pandas came to Ueno zoo in 1972 to commemorate the normalization of bilateral ties. In 2011, China expressed a willingness to lease more giant pandas to Japan but it did not materialize. (IANS)