Tepco Using 'giant Vacuum Cleaner' To Remove Debris At Crippled Plant

TEPCO using 'giant vacuum cleaner' to remove debris at crippled plantTokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has begun using a giant vacuum cleaner-like device to collect and remove debris from the No. 1 reactor building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
In October this year, work finished to remove cover panels that were installed over the building after the disaster.
This month the vacuuming device will be used to remove relatively small debris like pieces of concrete. Afterwards, TEPCO will install a water sprinkling system to prevent the spread of dust that contains radioactive materials, as the company moves toward decommissioning the reactor.

The vacuum device is held within a container measuring 6 meters long, 2.5 meters wide and 5.2 meters tall, and when assembled it weighs some 22 metric tons. The device is equipped with a stretchable and shrinkable nozzle and can suck up debris up to about 25 centimeters long and 20 kilograms in weight. The device will be lowered by crane from the top of the building as it is operated remotely. The collected debris will be stored according to radiation levels.

TEPCO aims to begin extraction of fuel from the No. 1 reactor's spent fuel pool in fiscal 2020.