FUKUSHIMA ENGINEERS START FUEL-ROD REMOVAL

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TOKYO: Japanese nuclear engineers were preparing on Monday to move uranium and plutonium fuel rods at Fukushima, their most difficult and dangerous task since runaway reactors were brought under control two years ago. Operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. is expected to begin the precarious operation later in the day, a tricky but essential step in the plant’s decades-long decommissioning plan. It follows months of setbacks and glitches that have stoked widespread criticism of the utility’s handling of the crisis, the worst nuclear accident in a generation. The work starting Monday pales in comparison with the much more complex task that awaits engineers, who will have to remove the misshapen cores of three reactors that went into meltdown.

AFP

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