UPDATE 4: Second blast at Japanese nuclear plant

By Dr. Heather Johnstone
 
Another explosion has occurred at the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant; although officials have said the reactor core is still intact
 
According to media reports, the latest blast was caused by a hydrogen build-up in reactor No.3, similar to what is thought to have occurred in reactor No.1 on Saturday.
 
The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), said 11 people had been hurt in the blast, with one of them seriously injured.
 
Technicians have been battling to cool three reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant since Friday, when the 8.9 earthquake, the biggest in Japan’s recorded history, knocked out the plamt's cooling system.
 
According to a Reuters report, the big fear now is of a major radiation leak from the nuclear complex in Fukushima, 240 km north of Tokyo. However, officials have said that radiation levels remained below legal limits, but warned those still within the 20-km evacuation zone to still indoors.
 

Related stories:

UPDATE 3: Japan faces fresh nuclear threat

 
 

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