Tepco told to revise Fukushima road map

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.

Although the work is expected to place an additional financial burden on the beleaguered company, Hosono and industry minister Yukio Edano both stressed the government would make sure the company’s financial condition does not delay progress toward scrapping the plant, although they did not elaborate.

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