OKUMA, Japan (AP) — The operator of Japan's tsunami-hit nuclear plant says work is progressing in plans to remove fuel rods from a cooling pool at the center of international concerns.
Takeshi Takahashi, manager of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, told journalists Wednesday that the removal will begin in November and take a year. It will be the first major step in a decades-long cleanup.
The plant suffered triple meltdowns at three reactors as a result of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Hydrogen explosions at another unit damaged a reactor building and a cooling pool.
The plant is also struggling with contaminated water leaking from reactors.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to remove melted fuel from the wrecked reactors within 10 years, but full decommissioning is expected to take decades.