Japan's Shinzo Abe calls on TEPCO to decommission 2 Fukushima reactors
September 19, 2013 -- Updated 1430 GMT (2230 HKT)
Japan's nuclear watchdog members at the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma,
- Abe asks TEPCO to decommission Reactors 5 and 6 at the crippled nuclear plant
- Those two reactors didn't suffer the same level of damage as the other four
- The prime minister visits the Fukushima plant amid concerns about toxic water leaks
- He sets TEPCO a deadline of March 2014 to fix the contaminated water problem
Tokyo (CNN) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that he has asked Tokyo Electric Power Co. to decommission two more reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Abe called for the decommissioning of Reactors 5 and 6 "as soon as possible" as he visited the plant, wearing protective gear, to look at efforts to contain leaks from tanks holding huge volumes of toxic water at the plant.
Less than two weeks ago, his government said it would spend about $470 million to try to tackle the contaminated water crisis at the plant, which was damaged by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan in March 2011.
Life goes on despite uncertainty in Fukushima
It also follows the announcement that Tokyo will host the Olympic Games in the summer of 2020. Abe has promised that the games will be "safe and secure" despite continuing concerns about the situation at the Fukushima plant.
How did we get to this point?
Living in limbo near Fukushima
Trying to decontaminate Fukushima
Reactors 5 and 6 were in not in operation when the 2011 tsunami hit the power plant and didn't experience the damage suffered by the other four reactors. They have been in "cold shutdown" since the disaster.
Meltdowns occurred at Reactors 1, 2 and 3. And concerns remain about the state of the spent fuel rod at Reactor 4.
The long road home after 2011 disaster
TEPCO has already said it will decommission the four damaged reactors, but it hadn't clarified what would happen to Reactors 5 and 6.
Abe said he also asked the plant operator to fix the problem of toxic water leaks by the end of March 2014.
TEPCO is struggling to manage the vast amounts of tainted water stored at the plant and hundreds of tons of groundwater that flow through the area every day.
Japan shuts down last nuclear reactor -- for now
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1106 GMT (1906 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.