Tepco Says 400-Kg Control Console Fell Into Fukushima Fuel PoolEmi Urabe and Peter Langan
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it’s detected no change in radiation levels in the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 3 reactor building after a 400 kilogram piece of equipment slipped from a crane and fell back into a pool holding spent uranium fuel rods.
The accident happened at around 12:45 p.m. today as the company was attempting to move what it described as a crane control console, according to a statement on its website.
The console, which is about a meter wide and 1.6 meters high, was blown into the pool on March 14, 2011, when the No. 3 reactor building exploded following an earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima plant.
Today, the utility known as Tepco was attempting to move the device as part of its cleanup at the site, said spokesman Hiroshi Itagaki. No one was injured and no changes to radiation levels have been detected, he said. The crane was being operated by remote control.
Itagaki said the company is unable to say at present whether the accident damaged any of the uranium fuel rods in the pool, but the stable radiation readings indicate otherwise.
Three reactors melted down in the disaster at the Fukushima plant on March 11, 2011. Tepco has started to remove spent fuel assemblies from the pool in the neighboring reactor building No. 4.