Meanwhile in Fukushima

Tokyo Electric Power Co. will postpone scrapping the crippled No. 1 unit of its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant as the company has already run into delays, officials said.

TEPCO presented draft revisions to its plan at a meeting with the government on Thursday. The two sides are working to revise the existing reactor dismantling timetable by next spring.

The draft calls for deferring the start of operations to remove spent nuclear fuel stored in a fuel pool in the No. 1 unit until fiscal 2019. It is currently scheduled for fiscal 2017.

It also calls for the removal of melted nuclear fuel to begin in fiscal 2025, against the current target of fiscal 2020.

“We haven’t decided on the new timetable yet,” said an official at the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. “We are seeking to move forward with the schedule as much as possible.”

But radiation levels remain elevated in the disaster-hit nuclear plant, making it hard to speed up the work.

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