Toshiba unveils remote-controlled fuel removal system for Fukushima decommissioning

18 January 2016 (Last Updated January 18th, 2016 18:30)

Japanese tech giant Toshiba has launched a remote-controlled Fuel Removal System (FRS), designed to support decommissioning works at the contaminated Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 3 building.

Toshiba FRS

Japanese tech giant Toshiba has launched a remote-controlled Fuel Removal System (FRS), designed to support decommissioning works at the contaminated Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 3 building.

The system is expected to remove debris and fuel from the spent fuel pool (SFP) of the unit.

Fukushima accident is as one of the major nuclear power disasters globally.

The 2011 nuclear meltdown at the plant was caused by a tsunami and earthquake and had prompted the country to shut down all of its 48 nuclear energy facilities.

Toshiba demonstrated the FRS, which includes crane and fuel handling machine (FHM), at its Keihin plant in Yokohama, Japan.

The FHM has been designed to remove the contaminants from the nuclear unit and place those in transfer vessel (TV) that can be securely sealed.

The cranes have been created to bring in the TVs, close lids and lift those above ground floor of the reactor building and out of the SFP, to be sent to a temporary storage site.

"The FHM is equipped with two manipulators capable of cutting and grabbing debris and a mast and fuel grapple tool for taking out fuel."

Toshiba said: "The FHM is equipped with two manipulators capable of cutting and grabbing debris and a mast and fuel grapple tool for taking out fuel.

"The manipulator tips, Auxiliary Hoists and Fuel Grapple tool attached to mast can be replaced with an appropriate cutting or gripping jig via remote control, depending to the state of the debris in the pool.

"The crane section consists of the Main Hoist with the TV Lifting Rig, which transfers fuel to the TVs, and an Auxiliary Hoist for removing and securing the TV primary lid."

The Japanese firm intends to start debris and fuel removal at the nuclear site in fiscal 2017.


Image: Fuel Removal System by Toshiba. Photo: courtesy of Toshiba Corporation.