2 Février 2013
February 2, 2013
The operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has released a barrage of images, many taken by workers themselves, showing chaos at the site as three reactors were going into partial meltdown.
Among the 2,145 photos are images of the No. 3 reactor building littered with debris from a hydrogen explosion on March 14, 2011.
Others show damage wrought by the tsunami, which struck on March 11.
And some portray efforts by emergency workers to spray water into the No. 4 reactor building, where fuel rods lying in a storage pool were losing their critical covering of coolant.
One image shows a part of the site where someone had marked the ground with a chilling warning: The spray-painted word reads "Kiken," or "Danger!"
The photos date from March 15 to April 11, 2011. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. gathered them from various sources after asking employees and subcontractors to submit any photos they themselves had taken.
Releasing the images is an apparent bid to convince the public of conditions faced by those workers and the difficulty of recovery work.
The company said it received many more photos than those released, but decided to withhold 849, citing "protection of sensitive data" related to nuclear technology.
It is the largest release of images since the utility published a first batch of 600 photos in September 2012.
Some of the images can be seen at the TEPCO website, where they first went live Feb. 1.