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Anti-radiation sheets no quick remedy

The Fukushima plant operator says a plan to cover reactor buildings with radiation-shielding sheets to block radiation leakage is not a quick solution.

After studying the possibility of installing radiation-shielding sheets around Fukushima reactors upon a request by Japan’s government, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said such sheeting cannot be installed until September because of the persisting high-level of radioactivity at the power station.

TEPCO said installment needs to be postponed until radiation levels at the site, where a number of hydrogen explosions have blown away the roofs and upper walls of three reactor buildings, is reduced.

On Wednesday, TEPCO also began the process of injecting nitrogen, an inert gas, into the containment vessel of the reactor No.1 to reduce the risk of more hydrogen explosions.

A devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11 in Japan’s northern coast set off nuclear problems by knocking out power to cooling systems of reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing radiation leaks.

The government ordered the evacuation of about 200,000 people living in a 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) radius of the plant and told people residing with 20 to 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of the plant to remain indoors.

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