20 Février 2012
Media allowed access to Fukushima Daiichi plant
Tokyo Electric Power Company has given members of the media access to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for the first time since the government declared 2 months ago that reactors had been stabilized.
The utility gave reporters a bus tour of the facility on Monday. The visit coincides with inspections by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency that began on February 6th.
The bus passed by reactor cooling systems and spent fuel pools where 43 incidents of water leaks have occurred since January. Workers have swathed pumps on trucks with sheets and wrapped pipes with insulation materials to prevent leaks.
Reporters were allowed to get off the bus on a hill near the No.4 reactor and see first-hand its building, which was damaged by a hydrogen blast last March.
When the media visited the plant in November, reporters had to stay inside their bus throughout the tour.
Radioactivity levels on the hill are now 50 microsieverts per hour. Anyone spending the day there would be exposed to more than one millisievert of radiation, the annual limit for the general public.
Workers in protective gear were preparing to build a facility to store radioactive waste.
Plant chief Takeshi Takahashi gave his first interview since assuming the post in December and said that he and other workers at the plant have the responsibility of ensuring its safety.
He stressed that containing radioactive materials within the nuclear facility is his top priority and that workers will achieve this goal.