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Economy

Seven years on, no end in sight for Fukushima's long recovery

Japan faces myriad challenges to decommissioning and decontamination

Removing nuclear fuel from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant will take 30 to 40 years, Tepco says.

TOKYO -- After helping shape nuclear policy in post-Fukushima Japan, Shunichi Tanaka, a former chief of the country's nuclear watchdog, took on another tough assignment -- moving to a village still struggling from the 2011 nuclear disaster to help with its recovery effort.

In February, Tanaka, who chaired the Nuclear Regulation Authority until last September, became a reconstruction adviser in the tiny village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture. Like many in surrounding localities, Iitate residents were ordered to evacuate after a powerful earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, led to meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings' Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. To date, only around 10% of residents have returned.

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