On Saturday a group of journalists, including this reporter, were allowed for the first time to enter the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant on a guided tour.

It was a chance to get a first-hand look at the crippled plant, where 3,000 workers in protective suits are still working hard every day to contain the nuclear crisis triggered by the March 11 quake and tsunami.

The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. allowed only three pool photographers, two for domestic media companies and the third from the foreign media, citing the still-dangerous environment and hectic cleanup effort in the plant compound.

Reporters were meanwhile allowed to carry only a pen, notebook and IC voice recorder to prevent the spread of contamination to the outside environment.

This slideshow features some of the pool photos that vividly illustrate the heavily damaged facilities and the workers trying to repair them.