'Dangerous' Nuke Plant Opens Its Doors

Journalists witness 'twisted metal, crumpled trucks'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2011 1:47 PM CST
Crushed piping is observed from inside a bus at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ikuro Aiba, Pool)
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(Newser) – Reporters toured the Fukushima nuclear plant yesterday, looking out a bus window at debris that still littered the site some 8 months after a tsunami and earthquake devastated Japan, the Guardian reports. One reporter described "twisted metal, crumpled trucks, large water tanks that have been dented and bent," and called the mess "a testament to how difficult a time they've had in trying to get those reactors under control."

With radiation levels still dangerously high, reporters donned full protective suits and weren't allowed into the reactors, where employees are now able to work under dangerous conditions. (The New York Times details the radiation testing they regularly undergo.) On the tour, an environment official portrayed the visit as a step forward for Fukushima: "At least we can say we have overcome the worst," he said. The plant will undergo a "cold shutdown" by the end of the year and be fully decommissioned within 30 years, if all goes as planned. (Read about an official who dared to drink Fukushima's decontaminated water.)

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