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Tepco halts sale of folders with Fukushima nuclear plant pictures

In the background, from left, the No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 reactor buildings of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant are seen, in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Oct. 31, 2016. In front are tanks used to store contaminated water. (Mainichi)

FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) -- The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has halted its sale of file folders with photos showing the current conditions of the complex due to public criticism, company sources said Wednesday.

"We received many views, including favorable ones. We will consider whether we can restart their sale (which began Aug. 1)," an official of the operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said.

The folders, offered in a set of three for 300 yen ($2.70), have pictures of the Nos. 1-4 units of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, stricken by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

The operator known as Tepco said it sold them at two convenience stores on the premises of the Fukushima complex after people involved in work to scrap the plant asked the company to sell souvenirs. Tepco said it does not make any profit on the folders.

But there have been complaints from people who were offended by the folders.

A Tepco official involved in the folder sale has said, "As there are very few opportunities to show the real situation of the Fukushima complex, we wanted people to become aware of it through these goods."

In one of the world's worst nuclear crises, the Fukushima Daiichi plant on the Pacific coast suffered meltdowns at three of its six reactors, spewing radioactive materials in the surrounding environment.

Decontamination and other efforts are under way to enable people who lived near the disaster-stricken plant to return to their hometowns, while Tepco struggles with massive compensation payments and cleanup costs stemming from the disaster.

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