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The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has started removing fuel rods Japan's stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Tepco is the company that operates the nuclear power plant. It was badly damaged and suffered meltdowns following being hit a massive earthquake and tsunami 2011. Tepco started the removal the nuclear fuel Monday, five years schedule. The work to remove and relocate the hazardous rods was delayed because a whole series of malfunctions the devices that had been designed the removal operation. Another factor that caused delays was high levels of radiation observed in the area. Tepco said this posed a "significant challenge" engineers.

Tepco said it is removing seven unspent nuclear fuel rods the reactor's pool. There are a total 1,573 spent and unspent fuel rods stored the power plant. The rods will be transferred to safer storage pools the plant. Tepco said the work would be completed the end of March 2021. A company spokesman, Tomohiko Isogai, said: "I believe everything is going well so far. We will watch the progress the site as we put safety first. Our goal is not to rush the process but to carefully proceed the decommissioning work." Another spokesman said: "Safety is our priority. We will carefully continue this work." Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan would do its best to rebuild the area.

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