Japan Workers Enter Damaged Fukushima Reactor for 1st TimeWorld | May 5, 2011, Thursday // 10:50| views
An aerial view of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Workers have entered for the first time Thursday the earthquake-stricken Japanese Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, Japanese officials are quoted saying.
The workers are in one of the buildings to install ventilation systems in reactor I to filter out radioactive material from the air.
The March 11 9-point on the Richter scale earthquake and the following tsunami damaged reactor cooling systems, causing fuel rods to overheat. Radiation levels inside reactor buildings must be lowered before new cooling systems can be installed.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which operates the NPP, announced that 12 engineers would work inside the reactor building in shifts of 10 minutes.
Cameras mounted on robots have been sent into the reactor and their footage already established that there were no leaks of potentially radioactive water inside the building.
TEPCO faces similar problems at three other reactors at the six-reactor plant.
A 20km (12 mile) evacuation zone has been set around the plant over radiation concerns.
A total of 14 785 people are confirmed dead and another 10 271 remain missing.
Japan's recovery bill has been estimated at USD 300 B, making the earthquake the most expensive disaster in history.
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