10 Years On: Fukushima Plant Facing Long, Bumpy Road to Decommissioning


Fukushima, March 2 (Jiji Press)--It is nearly 10 years since the major nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 power station, and wearing protective clothing is no longer necessary in 96 pct of the plant's premises thanks to a decline in radiation levels.

However, the impact of the devastating accident, triggered by the March 11, 2011 powerful earthquake and tsunami, is still evident from the rusted piping and damaged facilities around the nuclear reactor building.

Jiji Press was granted permission to enter the plant's premises in mid-February.

Boarding a TEPCO bus from the company's Decommissioning Archive Center, located some 9 kilometers south of the No. 1 plant in the town of Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, we drove through the empty streets of a "difficult-to-return-to" zone, where entry is strictly restricted due to radioactive contamination, before arriving at the site.

On arrival, we were told to wear protective gloves and sanitize, and our body temperatures were checked, as part of coronavirus infection control measures.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press