TOKYO, October 22 (RIA Novosti) – The Fukushima power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on Wednesday started the first phase of dismantling the protective cover installed over the damaged No 1 reactor building, the company said.
After the holes were drilled, TEPCO workers began inserting special anti-dispersal agents inside the protective dome to prevent radioactive dust from being scattered, the company wrote on its Facebook page.
The actual dismantling of the cover, installed by TEPCO in 2011 to mitigate the damage done to the plant, is scheduled to start on March. In 2016, the workers will proceed with removing the debris left inside the canopy after hydrogen explosion.
This is the preparatory work toward decommissioning of the damaged reactor, which is expected to take around 40 years.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred on March 11, 2011, after a devastating tsunami triggered by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake engulfed the nuclear plant. Some reactors' coolant systems failed which resulted in multiple hydrogen-air chemical explosions. Three of the plant's six nuclear reactors melted down and radiation leaked into the atmosphere, soil and sea.
The incident was called the world's worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.
Cleaning the toxic waste from the abandoned nuclear plant and reactors decommissioning have become TEPCO's principal task.