Japan Fukushima clean-up to take 30 yrs
A view of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan (file photo)
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which runs Japan's quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant, says a thorough cleaning of the contamination at the facility will take at least 30 years.
A TEPCO spokesman said on Friday that up to 3,300 people are participating in the clean-up effort at Fukushima Daiichi plant, AFP reported.
Meanwhile, a group of 30 reporters, photographers and cameramen, including four representatives from foreign media, are scheduled to be taken on a tour of the plant on Saturday.
The move is the first of its kind since March 11, when a quake and tsunami hit northeast Japan, where the plant is located.
The development comes a week after reports revealed that a fission had been detected in one of the reactors at the facility.
TEPCO aims to assure the domestic and international community that it is close to solving the problem.
The March 11 double disasters devastated the plant's cooling system and caused explosions at one of the reactors which resulted in the leakage of radiation.
Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission has recently announced that the accident at Fukushima power plant has cost the country's economy about USD 74 billion.
Japan's Ministry of the Environment said last week that the contaminated soil and other waste would be buried in concrete-walled pits by the end of March 2013, as part of the 30-year clean-up plan which will, according to the ministry, cost about USD 14 billion.
Some experts say it will take decades to prepare the necessary safety for the return of the thousands of residents who were forced to leave their homes since they were located within the 20-kilometer evacuation zone around the crippled plant.