Experts say Fukushima "is a completely different story" to Chernobyl
It has been 10 years since the Fukushima disaster, when a 15 metre high wave destroyed 4 of 6 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, north of Tokyo and destroyed much of the surrounding area. Since the catastrophe, the government and Tepco, the operator of the site, have been leading the decommissioning of the power station. This includes decontamination, a job that should be completed in 30 to 40 years.
Kimoto Takahiro is the Deputy Site Superintendent for the D&D Communication Center at Fukushima Daiichi. He says that "cooling the reactors was the most important thing, that's why we started with that and then we had to take care of the fuel pools".
The second stage of clean-up consists of removing the fuel present in the reactor pools. This is expected to take another 10 years.
The third stage involves the removal of debris, which is a long and delicate operation that has been delayed because of the COVID-19 crisis.
4000 to 5000 people work on the site daily, many without protection thanks to the effort to decontaminate the site.