The government on Wednesday ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to create by the end of the year a new schedule for scrapping the crippled nuclear reactors at the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 power complex, as the plant nears a cold shutdown.
It also ordered the utility to start removing the plant’s spent nuclear fuel within two years — a year earlier than the initial plan — so that workers can focus on tackling the more difficult task of extracting melted fuel from the reactors as early as possible, nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono said.
According to a draft report presented by a government panel, the content of which would be reflected in the new road map, workers are expected to remove nuclear fuel stored in the spent fuel pools of reactor units 1 to 4 before attempting to remove melted fuel from the crippled reactors 1, 2 and 3.
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