15/11/13 14:40 CET
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The operators of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have postponed the extremely complicated and difficult task of removing damaged atomic rods.
New video footage from a robot has revealed new leaks within the damaged reactors meaning the rods now can’t be taken out as planned.
One of the fuel assemblies was damaged as far back as 1982 when it was mishandled during a transfer and is bent out of shape.
Kazuaki Matsui, the executive director of Japan’s Institute of Applied Energy said: “It’s very difficult to remove a spent rod because parts of the wall and the bottom of the reactor are all melted. We’ve never had to deal with this before so that adds to the complication.”
Meanwhile, decontamination workers say mismanagement is to blame for the delay of radiation removal work.
The inital plan called for the clean-up in the affected towns to be finished by March this year but the government now says the work will be delayed by as much as three years.
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