Report: Scrapping Fukushima Could take 30 Years

Posted October 28th, 2011 at 10:50 am (UTC-5)
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Efforts to dismantle Japan’s crippled Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant could take another 30 years.

A report by Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission Friday recommended workers start the process of removing melted nuclear fuel rods from the damaged reactors within 10 years. But it said completing the process would likely take three decades.

The plant was disabled and leaked radiation after a March earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of Japan’s northeastern coastline, leaving 20,000 people dead or missing.

Officials have yet to blame the leak for any deaths, but tens of thousands of people remain evacuated from areas in and around a 20-kilometer zone around the plant.

A study posted Thursday on the website for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics said the disaster likely spewed twice as much radioactive material as first thought.

Researchers from the United States and Europe based their conclusion on an analysis of sensors from around the world.