Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in protective gear in Haranomachi, Fukushima prefecture

Japan nuclear workers set up fans to cut radiation

Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant workers have started putting up equipment to facilitate repairs to its cooling system.

Workers are aiming to bring reactors damaged by the Japan earthquake and tsunami under control and limit radiation leakage.

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) soldiers have moved to within 10 km of the Fukushima complex to search for those still missing following the disaster, the first time the military is conducting searches in this area since the plant began leaking radiation after the disaster hit.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has said it may take the rest of the year to bring the nuclear plant back under control.

Special tents are being constructed at the entrance to turbine buildings so workers can move in and out, while fans with filters are being installed at the No.1 reactor to reduce radiation inside to one-twentieth of current levels within days.

"We want to suck out the air in the building and use the filter to remove radiation from the dust," TEPCO spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said.

Cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were knocked out by the 9.0 earthquake and resultant tsunami, causing the plant to leak radiation.

People living within a 20 km radius of the plant were evacuated and banned from returning home due to concerns about radiation levels, while soil containing radioactive materials up to 1,000 times the normal level were found from the bottom of the sea near the nuclear plant, TEPCO's Matsumoto said.

A government adviser on the nuclear crisis has quit in protest over the government's decision to set the annual radiation limit at 20 millisieverts per year for school children in Fukushima, a level the adviser said was unacceptably high, further adding pressure to Japan prime minister Naoto Kan who is facing calls to quit over his handling of the crisis.

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