Third blast rocks Japanese nuclear plant

Radiation levels increase as technicians struggle to prevent meltdown

Radiation at the Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima has reached harmful levels, the Japanese government says, after a third blast damaged the containment system of the second reactor. A fire that broke out at the plant’s fourth reactor also caused more radioactive leaks. Cooling seawater has been pumped into the plants first and third reactor, stabilizing them for the time being. Radiation levels were higher than normal in Tokyo, which lies about 250km away from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, although officials say there are no immediate health dangers for residents in the capital. The 140,000 residents living within the 30km exclusion zone who have not already been evacuated are advised not to leave their homes. The latest death toll from the earthquake and tsunami sits at 2,400 but is estimated that at least 10,000 people have been killed, and 500,000 people are homeless.

BBC News

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