Japan starts nuclear fuel removal from Fukushima

A company started removing fuel rods from Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant. The plant suffered meltdowns after a huge tsunami hit it in 2011. Workers started removing the hazardous fuel rods five years behind schedule. Work was delayed because of many problems with the devices that were designed for the removal operation. High levels of radiation in the area also caused delays and created a "significant challenge" for engineers.

The company is removing seven unspent nuclear fuel rods. There are a total of 1,573 rods at the plant. The rods will be transferred to safer storage pools. The work should be finished in March 2021. The company said: "Everything is going well so far. We will watch the progress at the site as we put safety first. Our goal is not to rush the process but to carefully proceed." It added: "Safety is our priority. We will carefully continue this work."