Utility delays removal of spent fuel from Fukushima reactor

The operator of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant says plans to remove spent fuel from one of three damaged reactors will be further delayed because of high radiation.

Work to remove the spent fuel from a cooling pool at the No. 3 reactor was to begin by March 2018 after a three-year delay. Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to move tens of thousands of fuel rods out of the way before removing melted fuel that sits lower in the reactor.

The utility announced Thursday it will postpone the start until later in 2018, saying more decontamination is needed to ensure workers' safety.

Plans for similar work at two other reactors also damaged by a massive 2011 earthquake remain set for fiscal 2020.

The plant's decommissioning is expected to take decades.