Fukushima to be Decommissioned

SUBHEAD: Toshiba and Hitachi vying for contract to decommission Fukushima dai Ichi reactor site.  
By Staff on 8 April 2011 for Xinhua News - 

Image above: A roadside sign commemorates events 30 years after the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster. From (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123820275563962721.html). 

Toshiba Corp. submitted a proposal to Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to decommission four troubled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, local media reports said Friday.

The proposal filed by TEPCO and METI was drafted with the assistance of nuclear experts from Toshiba's Westinghouse Electric Co, Babcock & Wilcox Co. and Shaw Group, who gained invaluable knowledge from the cleanup following the Three Mile Island nuclear crisis in 1979.

According to sources close to the mater, the proposal sets out to level damaged buildings and structures at the Fukushima Daiichi complex without causing any more contamination to leak and will utilize robots to remove radioactive rubble caused by hydrogen explosions and the earthquake and tsunami that pounded the facility on March 11.

The proposal, which states it will take around 10 years to remove contained nuclear fuel rods and spent rods in storage pools from the four reactors, will be revised and updated as needs dictate, the consortium said.

They also said work would be undertaken to improve the condition of soil contaminated by radiation leaks.

TEPCO and METI will also look at a proposal to be submitted by Hitachi Ltd., which plans to liaise with General Electric Co., Bechtel Corp. and other utility firms and nuclear experts in a rival bid to decommission the the four reactors.


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