A watchdog team from the UN said that Japan might need some more time than the projected 40 years to decommission the Fukushima power plant. It has also urged Tepco to improve the stability of the facility.
Juan Carlos Lentijo, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Team, said on April 29, 2013 that the damage at the nuclear plant is so complex that it was very difficult to predict how much time the clean-up might take. Lentijo said, “As for the duration of the decommissioning project, this is something that you can define in your plans. But in my view, it will be nearly impossible to ensure the time for decommissioning such a complex facility in less than 30 to 40 years as it is currently established in the road map”.
It has been predicted by the government and Tokyo Electric Power company, that it might take up to 40 years for a complete clean-up. Appropriate technology has yet to be developed and equipment cannot currently operate under the dangerously high radiation levels, in order to locate and remove the melted fuel.
The reactors have to be kept cool and the plant must stay safe and stable, while efforts to ensure safety could even slow the process.