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Makoto Iokibe (center R), head of the Japanese government's Reconstruction Design Council, visits Soma port in Fukushima Prefecture. Press Association Images

Japan begins repair work on damaged nuclear reactors

Workers are constructing systems around the crippled Fukushima plant in order to begin repairs – however officials have warned that it could take a year to get the plant fully under control.

REPAIRS HAVE BEGUN on the cooling systems of Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors, with workers setting up equipment around the Fukushima plant – however officials have said it may take the rest of the year to bring the nuclear plant fully under control.

Hundreds of Japanese Self-Defense Force troops searching for those still missing have moved to within 10km of the site -  the closest to the site of the crippled reactors that rescue workers have come since the magnitude 9.0 quake and massive tsunami struck, Reuters reports.

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said that special tents are being constructed at the entrance of the turbine buildings and that fans with filters are being installed at reactor No 1, the Wall Street Journal reports. The filters will reduce the level of radiation to one-twentieth of its current level within days, TEPCO spokesman Junichi Matsumoto told reporters.

On 21 April, those living within 20km of the damaged reactors were told to leave and not to return, over fears for their safety due to radiation levels.

Read more: Japan’s parliament passes tsunami recovery budget >

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