10 Juin 2013
June 10, 2013
4:05PM GMT 06 Mar 2013
Scientists still do not have a firm understanding of the precise conditions of the reactor cores in three of the six units at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and are resorting to using remote-controlled vehicles to get inside the tangle of wires, pipes and rubbles that has lain untouched since the tsunami tore through the facility.
The Tokyo Electric Power Co, the plant's operator, insists that much has been achieved to bring the situation at the reactors under control. Radiation levels are declining, work is under way to build a crane that will be able to remove the spent fuel rods from the No. 4 unit at the plant and the debris is being cleared away.
For all the upbeat assessments emerging from TEPCO however, no one has been able to spend more than a couple of minutes at a time inside the three reactor buildings since they were crippled by the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, which killed almost 16,000 people nationwide, and the scale of the problem in those units is still not clear.