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Media Allowed into Japan’s Tsunami-Hit Nuke Plant

Media have been allowed into Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant for the first time since the disaster touched off the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

Representatives of the Japanese and international media, including The Associated Press, were allowed into the plant on Saturday with the government’s chief official in charge of the crisis.

The plant suffered meltdowns and explosions after it was deluged by the March 11 tsunami. Officials say conditions have improved enough to allow the visit, though reporters had to wear full-body protective gear and submit to radiation scans afterward.

The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo, was severely damaged by the tsunami and spewed large amounts of radioactive materials onto the surrounding countryside, much of which remains off-limits.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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