The total cost of decommissioning the stricken nuclear power plant at Fukushima and providing compensation to victims has nearly doubled, with a new estimate placing the cost at $250 billion.
Five and a half years after the nuclear disaster, the painstaking work of cleaning up the radioactive disaster zone is progressing very slowly.
Workers on the site have just finished a two-year project to remove a temporary building that was encasing the number 1 reactor.
The building was erected in the weeks after the disaster to prevent radioactive materials from escaping into the atmosphere.
The radioactive threat still exists, but the plant's operator TEPCO said it had taken extra precautions to prevent the leak of radioactive substances.
"We are relieved to have removed the cover, but this is only the first step," said Satoshi Sunayama, the head of the work crew at the stricken plant.
The next step is to begin removing the nuclear fuel and debris from the three reactor buildings on the site. But the problem is, nobody knows how that is going to happen.
The Government is putting its faith in Japanese technology — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe travelled to Fukushima on December 11 to visit a robotics company.
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