Police Begin First Search Near Japan’s Nuclear Plant

April 14, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Japanese police officers check a wrecked boat as they search for tsunami victims in Minamisanriku, Miyagi prefecture on April 12.  (Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images )
Japanese police officers check a wrecked boat as they search for tsunami victims in Minamisanriku, Miyagi prefecture on April 12. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images )
About 300 police officers have begun to search for missing tsunami victims in the Ukedo district of Namiemachi, an area just 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the compromised Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, reported the Yomiuri Shimbun.

This effort marks the first official search within a 10-kilometer radius of the plant. At least 1,000 people are believed to have gone missing in that zone, reported The Associated Press.

According to the Fukushima prefectural police, reduced levels of radiation around the plant have made the search for bodies possible. All officers involved in the recovery are wearing protective suits.

“If it's safe, we want to go ahead with searches, no matter the distance from the nuclear power plant,” said Mitsuhiro Matsumoto, head of the prefectural police, according to the Yomiuri.

So far, 14,800 people are registered as missing; 13,400 have been confirmed dead.