via NHK World / February 26, 2014 / The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has opened the central control room for the facility’s No.1 and 2 reactors to media for the first time since the 2011 accident.
Tokyo Electric Power Company organized the visit on Wednesday ahead of the 3rd anniversary of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami that cut off power and crippled the plant.
The room between the reactors is where workers struggled to contain the crisis 3 years ago amid rising radiation levels and the impact of a hydrogen explosion at the No. 1 reactor building.
Radiation in the room just after the accident measured one millisievert per hour. The level has fallen to less than one-150th of that figure, but those entering the room are still required to wear full-face masks and other protective gear.
The room has been cleared of debris including ceiling panels and emergency batteries. Scribbled numbers next to a water gauge suggest how workers tried to monitor the reactor’s cooling water using flashlights.
Media representatives were also allowed to enter the No. 5 reactor building, which escaped damage, and visit a site for building new types of tainted water storage tanks.
Plant chief Akira Ono said he had wanted to show them the central control room sooner, but could not due to high radiation levels.
Ono also apologized to Fukushima Prefecture residents and others for a recent leak of highly contaminated water from a tank. He pledged efforts to recover the water, find the cause of the leak and take steps to prevent a recurrence.