Japan lacks decommissioning experts for ruined nuke plant

| Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, 7:51 p.m.

TOKYO — Japan is incapable of safely decommissioning the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant alone and must stitch together an international team for the gigantic undertaking, experts say, but has made only halting progress in that direction.

Unlike the United States and some European countries, Japan has never decommissioned a full-fledged reactor. Now it must do so at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Three of its six reactors melted down because of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, making what is ordinarily a technically challenging operation even more complex.

The cloud over Japan's capacity to get the decades-long job done has further undermined the image of the nuclear industry with the public.

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