16:15 GMT +323 September 2019
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    The crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station is seen through a bus window in Okuma on November 12, 2011

    Japan to Decide on How to Clean Up Fukushima Disaster Site in September

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    Asia & Pacific
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    The Japanese government will determine the method of extraction of the melted substances, which could be fuel debris, from the No.3 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in September, Japanese Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Friday, the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) sent a robot to examine the containment vessel of the damaged reactor of the Fukushima station and discovered melted material, which could possibly be the melted fuel, mixed with melted parts of the reactor. On Saturday, the company carried out the second examination, which confirmed the presence of the molted substance.

    "We managed to confirm the presence of molten material, which could possibly be fuel debris, and have obtained a lot of valuable information. Based on evaluation of this examination results, we want to decide on removal method in September this year," Seko said at a press conference after the cabinet meeting, as quoted by the NHK broadcaster.

    He also noted that the government was planning to stick to the initial road map, which stipulates defining of the concrete extraction plan within the first half of the next fiscal year and the beginning of removal works in 2021.

    "I think, at this stage we will proceed in accordance with the schedule," Seko said.

    A 9.0 quake in 2011 triggered a tsunami wave that hit the prefecture, causing a meltdown and a huge leak of radioactive materials at the Fukushima power plant. The disaster prompted the Japanese government to shut down all nuclear power plants until harsher security standards were introduced. People are still prohibited from living in the settlements located near the NPP, with clean-up operations expecting to take about 40 years.


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