The US Ambassador to Japan got a firsthand look inside the Japanese nuclear plant devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami on Wednesday. Caroline Kennedy toured the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant for about three hours. (May 14)
AP TELEVISION - AP Clients Only
Fukushima, Japan - May 14, 2014
1. Various of Caroline Kennedy, US Ambassador to Japan, touring operation floor of reactor No. 4 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, wearing wearing a yellow helmet and a white protective suit
2. Various of Kennedy being shown around control room of plant
Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, got a firsthand look Wednesday inside the Japanese nuclear plant devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Kennedy, wearing a yellow helmet and a white protective suit with her last name emblazoned on it, toured the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant for about three hours with her son, Jack Schlossberg.
The plant was damaged beyond repair by the disaster, and continues to be plagued by leaks of radioactive water. Decommissioning the reactors is expected to take decades.
"It's very hard to visualize and understand the complexity of the challenge when you just read about it, so this was a very informative visit," Kennedy told reporters after the tour.
She expressed her gratitude to "those who are working here every day and to those who showed us around."
Kennedy visited the Unit 4 reactor building, and the control room for reactors 1 and 2.
A guide explained how events unfolded in the control room on March 11, 2011.
The reactors shut down after the earthquake, and the operators initially felt the situation was safe. Then the tsunami came, knocking out power to the cooling systems. Eventually, three of the reactor cores would melt down.