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The highly dangerous and unprecedented removal of the highly radioactive nuclear fuel rods in Fukushima Unit 4 will begin on Monday, November 18.
The Unit 4 fuel rod removal is like to trying to pull cigarettes from a crushed pack.The Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) had previously said the process would begin in mid-November but kept the exact date secret 'for security reasons.' TEPCO has now confirmed that the operation will begin Monday.
If the fuel rods - there are 50-70 in each of the assemblies, which weigh around 661 pounds and are 15 feet long - are exposed to air or if they break, catastrophic amounts of radioactive gases could be released into the atmosphere.
“Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date,” say independent consultants Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt in a recent World Nuclear Industry Status Report.