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Fukushima cleanup could drag on for decades

OKUMA, Japan — A CBS News crew got a rare look inside the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Nearly three years after the earthquake and tsunami, the plant is still emitting radiation, and likely will be for years.

Three miles from the plant, roads are still closed. Radiation levels here soar 100 times higher than normal.

To protect themselves from radiation, a CBS News crew suited up like the 4,300 decontamination workers here. Once, this was the heart of a radioactive “no-go zone.” Now it’s safe enough to spend a few hours inside.

TEPCO, the company that owns the crippled plant, is still struggling to deal with the disaster. All four reactors are still emitting radiation. But TEPCO has made some progress.

This is what TEPCO wants the world to see: the heart of the decommissioning work taking place in Reactor 4.

Following the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, a hydrogen explosion tore off the roof of this reactor.

At the time, Reactor 4 was not in use, but that explosion sent debris and chunks of concrete into a pool where the nuclear fuel was being stored.


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