For Tepco, the decommissioning process has suddenly become much more difficult. The company has been under intense pressure, not only for its culpability in the environmental disaster, but also for its inability to keep to the stated cleanup timeline. The nuclear fuel is supposed to be removed from the reactor by 2018, so that crews can proceed with dismantling operations, but Tepco is far behind that original projection. Costs are also skyrocketing as, combined with decontamination and compensation payments, some $187 billion is expected to be spent, most of which will come from the Japanese treasury.
Total cleanup is expected to take 40 years.
But for now, Tepco must first understand how to approach the deadly environment.
The removal of the melted fuel represents “a challenge unprecedented in the history of nuclear power,” according to The Guardian.
Russia offered assistance in overcoming the consequences of the Fukushima incident, just days after the disaster occurred. It was not until Russian President Vladimir Putin’s December 2016 visit to Japan, however, that Tokyo and Moscow signed a memorandum of understanding regarding nuclear power.
From: The Fifth Column