New blast may hit Japan’s troubled nuke plant after tremor

A new blast may hit Japan’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant damaged by Friday’s devastating earthquake, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on Sunday.

Specialists have been able to raise the water level at the plant’s third unit to help the reactor cooling process recover but there is still the risk of an explosion similar to the blast that hit the plant’s first nuclear unit on Saturday, Edano said.

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported earlier on Sunday that the Fukushima Number Three reactor had lost its emergency cooling system. An agency official said additional water supply to the reactor should be established urgently to avoid a blast due to overheating.

Edano also said the hourly radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant climbed to 1,557.5 micro sievert in its premises as of 7:00 a.m. local time on Sunday, far exceeding the allowable radiation of 1,015 micro sievert for ordinary people in one year but dropped to 184.1 micro sievert as of 14:42 local time.

The Fukushima Number One nuclear power station, about 250 km (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, was hit by the first blast on Saturday. The explosion at the first nuclear unit destroyed the reactor turbine building, blowing away its walls and roof, but the local authorities said the reactor itself was not damaged. A steel container covering the reactor has protected it from the blast, they said.

TOKYO, March 12 (RIA Novosti) 

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