The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. are planning to push back the start of removing spent fuel at the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex by two to three years from the current schedule, according to government sources.
Under an envisioned revised road map for decommissioning reactors 1 to 4 at the plant, which was ravaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, work to begin removing the spent fuel from the No. 3 pool is expected to be delayed until fiscal 2017, the sources said Tuesday. Originally that work was to begin in the first half of fiscal 2015.
Removal work on the Nos. 1 and 2 pools, which was supposed to begin in fiscal 2017, is now expected to start in fiscal 2020.
There is no change to the overall timeline for decommissioning the plant within 30 to 40 years after the nuclear calamity, according to the sources.
The government is expected to hold a Cabinet meeting as early as Friday to officially reflect the changes in the road map.
The government and Tepco, the plant operator are moving to revise the road map for the first time since June 2013. They apparently believe the existing plan has placed too much priority on speeding up decommissioning efforts and put a heavy burden on workers at the complex.