Kazakhstan’s National Nuclear Centre (NCC RK) has conducted a core melt experiment as part of the "Fukushima Debris" project which was carried out jointly with Japanese companies, NNC RK said on 15 January.

The Japanese delegation, which observed the experiment, included representatives from Toshiba, Marubeni Utility Services, and Nippon Nuclear Fuel Development Cо Ltd. After a number of technical meetings, the experiment was carried out at the experimental facility Lava-B.

In the course of the experiment, a melt of material composition was produced in the electrical melting furnace to simulate, in terms of composition, the molten materials of the Fukushima-Daiichi NPP core. The melt was poured into the core melt trap filled with water. The solidified melt fragments resulting from the experiment will be studied to identify their physical and mechanical properties and microstructure, NNC RK says.

Also on 15 January, Germany’s Nukem Technologies (a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom) was awarded a contract to conduct feasibility studies in support reactor dismantling at the Fukushima-Daiichi NPP. Nukem said the contract, awarded by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is for four feasibility studies as part of a national research and development project backed by Japan’s government.

The studies will help "develop suitable technologies" for the dismantling of reactors as part of clean-up and decommissioning following the 2011 nuclear accident at the site, Nukem said. Studies will include mapping of primary containment vessel flooring and a concept for remote cutting of biological shielding walls. Nukem also said it will prepare concepts to develop a remotely-operated rail transportation system for debris removal. The studies must be completed within seven months.