As the debate about what to do with Japan's aging nuclear reactors intensifies, questions remain about the ramifications of decommissioning plants, and how to tear down the facilities in a way that's efficient, affordable, safe, and that has the support of the local community.

In the United Kingdom, these concerns formed the basis of a policy that has led to the decommission of numerous power stations, two of which began operating in the 1950s.

"There is no set of rules for decommissioning. This is because when you're operating a nuclear power station, you want every day to be the same," said Keith Franklin, of the U.K. National Nuclear Laboratory, and First Secretary (Nuclear) at the British embassy in Tokyo.