News / Asia

Workers Prepare to Enter Fukushima Reactor as Radiation Level Falls

Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan (File Photo)
Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan (File Photo)
Martyn Williams

Tokyo's main electric power company is preparing to send workers inside a crippled nuclear reactor to begin rebuilding the unit's cooling system. Power company officials say a ventilation system has lowered radiation levels in the reactor building damaged in March by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

The Tokyo Electric Power company is to open the doors on the Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 1 containment vessel, the thick concrete shell around the reactor core.

Its air has been so radioactive, a worker could be exposed only five hours before exceeding a safe limit. But an air filtration system installed Thursday has brought radiation down to a high, but more acceptable, level.

Workers are scheduled to enter it as early as Monday.

Once inside, staff will be checking pipes, valves and machinery to see what needs to be repaired so the reactor's self-cooling system can be put back in use.

Its failure has forced emergency crews to dump thousands of tons of water on the reactor to keep it cool, but that has created a large amount of radioactive waste water. The reactor cooling system re-circulates water, so its return would simplify recovery operations.

Opening the airlock doors will result in the release of some radioactive radiation, but Tokyo Electric said it will not be at a level that will cause concern to anyone beyond the 20-kilometers exclusion zone around the plant.

Goshi Hosono, a Japanese Government spokesman, says the Japanese government has notified nearby countries of the plans to release radioactive air, but it concurs that there will be no impact on the environment.

In a related matter, Tokyo Electric reported a sharp rise in temperature at the nearby Reactor 3. It was at 202 degrees Celcius early  Sunday, up 40 degrees in less than a day, but still less than the normal operating temperature. Tokyo Electric plans to monitor the reactor closely.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.

All About America

AppleAndroid