TOKYO, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Japanese companies are expected to play a larger role in the cleanup and decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, an official said.
Major international companies, from French nuclear energy company Areva to U.S. waste disposal company Kurion, have worked on various operations tied to the nuclear power plant.
A magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami led to a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan last year.
Goshi Hosono, Japan's state minister in charge of the nuclear disaster, said it was time for Japanese companies to play a larger role in Fukushima operations.
It's expected to take at least 30 years for full decommissioning of the crippled nuclear facility, which is now stable.
Sue Kinoshita, a trade director at the British Embassy in Tokyo, told the Financial Times that Japan was playing a larger role at the facility.
"The expectation is that Japanese companies will be central to the process," she said.
A 10-member team from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in Tokyo this week to meet with members of the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency to examine safety issues.
Japan had 54 reactors online before the March 2011 earthquake.