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Tepco cracks open weather shield covering reactor building at Fukushima No. 1 via The Japan Times

Tepco on Friday cracked open the cover over the reactor 1 building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The covering was installed in a bid to contain radioactive dust after a hydrogen explosion shattered the building’s exterior structure in March 2011.

Dismantling it is a first step toward removing spent fuel rods stored in a cooling pool above the reactor. That, in turn, must be completed before the reactor core can be opened to remove the melted-down fuel, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.

On Friday morning, plant workers used a crane to remove a huge panel to see whether anti-dispersal agents are taking effect. They were inserted last week to reduce the risk of radioactive dust blowing out.

No changes in radiation levels have been observed around the plant so far, the company said.

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