The original plan of the "roadmap" was to build a protective structure over the reactor building first, and then start removing the fuel assemblies in December 2013.
From Yomiuri Shinbun (5/27/2012):
TEPCO has decided to remove part of the new fuel assemblies stored in the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor 4 at Fukushima I Nucleaer Power Plant in July.
It will be the first removal of nuclear fuel since the start of the accident.
There are 1535 fuel assemblies stored in the Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool, including 204 new fuel assemblies. The plan was to build a "cover" structure for the building equipped with a crane [to remove the fuel assemblies], and start removing the fuel assemblies in December 2013.
The new fuel has no problem of heat from the fission products and are easier to handle than the spent fuel. TEPCO has decided to remove a few new fuel assemblies and inspect the condition.
The worker who tweets from Fuku-I says TEPCO will take out 2 assemblies. Since they have never been used, they can be lifted in the air, he says.
Even so, it doesn't seem to me to be a critical, essential task to be done at the plant right now. It seems like an unnecessary, risky endeavor.
What is instructive is some of the tweets in response to the worker's tweet. "Oh is there anything left in the Reactor 4 SFP?" or "The fuel assemblies still keeping the shape?" TEPCO's videos of the Reactor 4 SFP (here and here, for example) means nothing to them and many others, though they seem to believe the worker.
For the possible locations of the new fuel bundles in the Reactor 4 SFP, see my 4/25/2012 post (look for the darkest colored assemblies).