The March 2011 earthquake, followed by the devastating tsunami and the nuclear accident at Fukushima had many wondering if the Tokyo bid for the Summer Olympics will go through or radiation concerns will take over.

News from Fukushima in the post March 2011 scenario have been mostly negative but there have been some positive ones which we in Tokyo have been following and this week came in one such news snippet.

Out of the four units at Fukushima Plant which suffered from varied damage, experts have always been worried about structural integrity of Unit 4. Unit 4 suffered structural damage due to the explosion in the Unit 3 and had over 1533 fuel assemblies which in case of an aftershock or other calamity might cave in and release radioactivity which would have necessitated the evacuation from Tokyo!

TEPCO prioritized the fuel removal late last year and promised to complete the same within 2014 and the removal of the supposedly dangerous spent fuel assemblies was completed on November 5th,2014!

Fukushima Fuel Transfer Unit 4

Fukushima Fuel Transfer Unit 4


One fuel assembly at a time, and information disclosure to public on a weekly basis, this can be seen as a positive development, more of which is needed to come around as Tokyo builds confidence on its nuclear fallout cleanup and address concerns of residents here and visitors to events like Olympics.

We at wish the TEPCO team further more success on the long road which will continue long after the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics have been held (30-40 years cleanup estimates).