• Kyodo

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The science ministry said Thursday it will set up a research center next April to help decommission the heavily damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Experts from Japan and abroad are expected to use the center to find ways to retrieve the reactors’ melted radioactive cores, according to the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry.

The research center, which will be initially built outside Fukushima, will also serve as a hub for university-level education, it added.

The government plans to decide on the budget scale for the project during the summer.

Bodies including the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning are also engaged in the decommissioning process for the troubled, radiation-leaking complex.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also plans to build its own research center for the problem.

The aging, poorly protected power plant was crippled by three meltdowns after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami knocked out its cooling systems with a station blackout, allowing their cores to melt while most of the staff reportedly ran away.