No.1 reactor building door opened
Tokyo Electric Power Company opened the door of the Number 1 reactor building of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant shortly after 8 PM on Sunday to step up efforts to restore the cooling system.
Workers will be allowed to enter the building on Monday morning to begin restoring the cooling functions.
After running a new filtering system, the density of radioactive substances in the reactor building has fallen to a level that allows staff wearing full-face masks to work inside.
After obtaining approval from the economy and trade ministry’s nuclear safety agency, the utility opened the door shortly after 8 PM on Sunday, after informing Fukushima Prefecture and other municipalities and nearby countries.
The utility says it will minimize the leakage of nuclear substances with a special tent, while removing some of the vent pipes and replacing the air inside the building over an 8-hour period.
TEPCO says the density of radioactive substances in the air around the facility is within the legal limit, and the highest possible exposure in the plant is far below the level that is considered safe for humans.
The government has endorsed this assessment.
The utility will remove the special tent around 4 AM on Monday, and allow workers to enter the building to measure the radiation level under the supervision of agency staff.
After confirming there are no problems, workers will adjust the water gauge to be used in filling up the containment vessel and will also check the pipes for the cooling system.
Sunday, May 08, 2011 23:00 +0900 (JST)