Japanese Plant Too Dangerous For Staff
Japan has suspended its activities in order to contain the nuclear reactors which had cooling systems struck down following the tsunami Friday. After an increase in the radiation, it was deemed too dangerous for workers to remain in the plant.
Cabinet Secretary said Yukio Edan said the work, dousing the reactors with water, had to be interrupted.
Previously, officials have said that 70 percent of the fuel rods in one of the six reactors of the plant were severely damaged Friday after the earthquake and tsunami.
News reports said 33 percent of the fuel rods were also damaged in a second reactor. Officials said they would use helicopters and fire trucks to spray water in a desperate attempt to prevent radiation leaks and others to cool the reactors.
The nuclear crisis has sounded an international alert and partly overshadowed the human tragedy caused by a double disaster on Friday, which covers the northeast coast of Japan, endangering about 10,000 people.
The authorities have tried feverishly last Friday's earthquake and tsunami to fight the environmental disaster in northeast Fukushima Dai-Ichi, 170 kilometers north of Tokyo.
The government has ordered about 140,000 people in the region to stay indoors. Radiation was found in Little Tokyo, which has triggered panic buying of food and water.
There are six reactors at the plant, three of which were operating at that time the area was rocked by explosions. An earthquake of magnitude 9.0 was detected near there and set off many fires.
Meanwhile, the casing outside the containment building, Unit No. 4, burst into flames Wednesday morning, said Hajime Motujuku, a spokesman for plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Nuclear Safety Agency of Japan said that the fire and smoke could be seen in Unit 4, but could not confirm that the fire had been extinguished.