Japan nuclear plant: See the damage

After the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, there have been fears of radiation leaks from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The aerial image below, taken on 16 March 2011, clearly shows damage to three of the six reactors and smoke pouring from a fourth.

Photograph showing layout of the six reactors

The four central reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power station were the most badly damaged by the tsunami.

Although the reactors all shut down automatically after the quake, problems soon emerged with the cooling systems that keep the fuel rods cool.

A loss of power prevented nuclear workers from pumping water through the cooling system. The fuel rods overheated, causing a series of major problems.

Radiation has leaked from the plant, though it is not clear from exactly where. Reactors 2 and 3 are thought to be the most likely candidates however.

Efforts are continuing to cool the reactors to reduce the risk of any further leaks.

This close up shows the extent of the damage This close up shows the extent of the damage

Reactor 1: Explosion on 12 March, ripped off roof.

Reactor 2: Explosion on 15 March, some internal damage, most likely source of radiation spike that day.

Reactor 3: Explosion on 14 March, roof damaged. Fears damage may have led to radiation spike on 16 March - although later reports said it was unclear what caused the leap in levels.

Reactor 4: Under maintenance at time of quake. At least two fires reported since.

Reactors 5 and 6: Under maintenance at time of quake. Fears overheating may lead to explosions.

More on This Story

More Asia-Pacific stories



Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.