The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it will send workers into the No.3 reactor building on Wednesday to check the condition of its piping. They will have to work quickly, with high levels of radioactivity making it difficult to operate inside the building for long periods of time.
Tokyo Electric Power Company made the decision after a remote-control robot on Tuesday found limited damage to pipes and valves in the building.
TEPCO injects a total of around 390 tons of water daily into reactors 1 to 3 to cool them down, but most of it becomes highly contaminated. The No. 3 reactor is the largest source of contamination as it needs double the amount of water because of leaks and other problems.
On Wednesday, 6 workers will enter the second and third floors of the building. They are expected to try to learn whether it is OK to send coolant water into the pipes there.
The robot probe found radiation levels in part of the building of up to 75 millisieverts per hour, making extended work difficult.
TEPCO says it will ensure employees have sufficient protection against radioactivity and work only for a short period of time.