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Japan's TEPCO to delay removal of Fukushima nuclear debris

(Xinhua)    10:14, December 24, 2020

TOKYO, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has decided to delay the removal of nuclear debris from inside a reactor by around one year due to the coronavirus pandemic, sources familiar with the matter and local media said Wednesday.

The utility had planned to remove melted fuel from the No. 2 unit using a robotic arm, but tests of the arm planned in Britain in August have been suspended due to the pandemic.

TEPCO had initially planned to insert a robotic arm into the unit's containment vessel where it would extract around 1 gram of debris at a time.

The amount the arm would extract would be incrementally increased until it would be removing several kg a day.

Following the testing of the arm in Britain, the equipment was then supposed to be transferred to Japan in February 2021.

At this point, local workers would have started training with it.

With the spread of the novel coronavirus now prevalent in Britain, TEPCO is making arrangements to carry out the tests in Japan.

Decommissioning of the plant that underwent multiple meltdowns after being hit by a massive earthquake-triggered tsunami in March 2011 sparking the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 is expected be completed between 2041 and 2051.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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