Tepco said Thursday it plans to temporarily remove a cover placed around the reactor 1 building at the Fukushima No. 1 plant to prepare for taking spent fuel out of the cooling pool.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. installed the cover in October 2011 to prevent further release of radioactive substances after a hydrogen explosion destroyed the roof and walls of the building in March 2011.

A Tepco official said that dismantling the cover, which will start in the fall, is expected to lead to a "slight rise" in the radiation level, but the impact will be "minimal."