Japan Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant blog
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Reactors 1, 2 and 3 were strictly off limits, and looking from about 500 metres away the area was clearly deserted, with cars and equipment abandoned.
Removing the molten fuel from these reactors will be an enormous challenge as workers cannot enter because it would lead to instant death.
Mr Matsui admitted they did not know the extent of the problems.
“We do not know [the] exact situation in detail,” he said.
“Fuel has been melted down but nobody has seen it … We need to develop robotic technology with help from around the world to know the real situation.”
The only way TEPCO can control the meltdowns in 1, 2 and 3 is to pump water in to cool them, but the water becomes highly radioactive and mixes with the massive amount of groundwater that flows into the reactors from the surrounding hills.
This is TEPCO’s most urgent problem – every day it has to deal with more than 500,000 litres of radioactive water.
Standing in a high position, the whole 3.5-kilometre site could be seen filling up with massive storage tanks.
The looming crisis is lack of space and where to put the water, and TEPCO is scrambling for solutions.
Officials want to build an ice wall around the crippled reactors to stop the groundwater entering, but that is untested technology.