FUKUSHIMA – A Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner has suggested that removing all fuel debris from reactors at the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant may not be the best option.
“I wonder if the situation would be desired that work is still underway to extract fuel debris 70 or 80 years after” the nuclear disaster, NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa told reporters Friday.
“There are a variety of options, including removing as much fuel debris as possible and solidifying the rest,” he added.
Fuketa and another NRA commissioner, Satoru Tanaka, visited the complex Friday, the last of the commissioners to do so ahead of the fifth anniversary of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that triggered to the triple meltdowns at the atomic plant.
His remarks could affect the decommissioning plan drafted by the government and the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Under that scenario, fuel debris is to be disposed of over the course of 30 to 40 years.
Fuketa said that unlike the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, it is “not realistic” to construct concrete buildings to cover reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant because the situation is different.
The commissioner also questioned whether construction of an underground ice wall around the reactor buildings to prevent radioactive water buildup will prove effective.