The current timetable calls for the process of removing spent fuel assemblies from the storage pool to begin in fiscal 2017, and removing melted fuel to begin 3 years later.
Government and TEPCO officials are now planning to delay the start of removing spent fuel units until fiscal 2019, or by 2 years, and the start of removing melted fuel till 2025, or by 5 years.
Radioactive rubble which has accumulated inside the No.1 reactor building is hampering fuel removal efforts.
Workers began dismantling the cover of the building this month to remove the debris.
But full-fledged work to dismantle the cover will not take place until March of next year, already resulting in a delay of more than 6 months.
To remove the spent fuel and melted fuel, separate facilities, such as cranes, must be set up on top of the reactor building. This would take more time.
The current timetable says complete decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi plant with 4 damaged reactors will take 30 to 40 years.