TEPCO seeks to redeem its reputation with the public by offering virtual tours of the site in Japanese and English.

On 11 March 2011, Japan’s northern Tohoku region was rocked by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake which triggered a powerful tsunami that damaged the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

This resulted in three nuclear meltdowns, hydrogen-air explosions, and radioactive material released over a three-day period immediately following the disaster.

In the months and years that followed, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operators of the nuclear power plant, came under scrutiny for the way they handled the disaster, with the company later admitting that they initially concealed the reactor meltdowns from the public, and a court ruling that TEPCO had failed to take preventative measures against the tsunami.

Now, seven years after the incident, TEPCO is attempting to redeem its image in the eyes of the public by offering a virtual tour of the crippled power plant. Launched online in Japanese in March, the special website was updated earlier this month to include an English version, which allows users to explore 10 different routes around the power plant.

Each route includes a sidebox on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, showing various levels of radiation recorded at each site. At the beginning of the tour, Unit 1 and 2 are marked as having 39.5 millisieverts of radiation, while Unit 3 has 20.5 millisieverts.

▼ The roof of Unit 3 was blown off following a hydrogen explosion at the time of the accident.

Each time a new area appears, viewers can click on different parts of the picture to have a closer look at the decommissioning work and various equipment being used onsite.

Some of the sites included in the tour include the containment vessel of the No. 5 unit, damaged walls of the No. 3 reactor, and various waste-processing facilities.

▼ Some sites, like this one which shows the High Performance Multi-Nuclide Removal Equipment, offer interactive 360-degree views.

According to TEPCO, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is “steadily being decommissioned with the cooperation of a great many people”, and the virtual tours were created to help convey the current conditions to as many people as possible as “an important part of the decommissioning process”.

You can visit the interactive site here to join the tour online.

Source: TEPCO via Japaaan
Images: TEPCO