The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant will soon begin removing nuclear fuel from a storage pool inside one of the damaged reactor buildings at the complex.
Tokyo Electric Power Company will start removing fuel from the pool of the No.3 reactor building on Monday.
This is the first time for TEPCO to remove fuel from any of the three reactors that underwent a meltdown after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
In preparation for the removal work, the firm cleared and decontaminated the top floor of the reactor building, which houses the pool.
A hydrogen explosion had scattered debris on the floor in the early days of the accident, and radiation levels had also been very high.
TEPCO will conduct the removal procedures by remote control. It plans to move several unused fuel units to a transport container on Monday. The pool now has 514 units of spent fuel and 52 units of unused fuel.
The container will then be lowered to the ground by crane to be transferred to another pool at the power plant.
The removal effort is set to begin four years and four months behind the original schedule. TEPCO wants to finish the process by March 2021.