TOKYO (AP) — The utility operating Japan's crippled nuclear power plant says it will work with the U.S. Department of Energy in the decommissioning of the site and in dealing with contaminated water problems.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose says the agreement with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was made Friday during Moniz's visit to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

Moniz inspected the plant's preparation to remove fuel rods from an uncontained cooling pool at Unit 4 — one of four reactor buildings damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the one considered the highest risk.

The fuel removal at Unit 4 is the first major step in a decommissioning process expected to take decades.

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