Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University Reactor Research Institute in Kyoto, said success was far from guaranteed.
“It is not easy work,” he said.
The comments reflect an increasingly widespread view that the giant utility is not capable of dealing with the mess its nuclear plant has created.
Months of setbacks have included multiple leaks from tanks storing the water used to keep reactors cool, and a power outage caused when a rat electrocuted itself on a circuit board.
TEPCO’s management of the problems has been criticized as haphazard and uncoordinated, with one government minister saying it was like watching someone playing “whack-a-mole.”
The full decommissioning of Fukushima is likely to take decades and include tasks that have never been attempted anywhere in the world.