Japan's efforts to ease nuke crisis suffer setback | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 21, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 21, 2011

Japan's efforts to ease nuke crisis suffer setback

Fukushima plant to be scrapped, 2 found in miracle rescue effort

An unexpected rise in pressure inside a troubled reactor set back efforts to bring Japan's overheating, leaking nuclear complex under control yesterday as concerns grew that as-yet minor contamination of food and water is spreading.
The pressure increase meant plant operators may need to deliberately release radioactive steam, prolonging the nuclear crisis.
Meanwhile, Japan's top government spokesman yesterday signalled that the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant at the centre of an ongoing crisis following a series of explosions would be scrapped.
Two survivors, including an elderly woman, were rescued from the wreckage of a home in Japan's northeast yesterday, nine days after a massive earthquake and tsunami, authorities said.
Sumi Abe and her grandson Jin Abe were in the kitchen when the quake struck on March 11, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The house collapsed with them inside but the grandson was able to reach food from the refrigerator, helping them to survive, rescuers said.
Beyond the disaster area, an already shaken public grew uneasy with official reports that traces of radiation first detected in spinach and milk from farms near the nuclear plant are turning up farther away in tap water, rain and even dust.
Forecasts for rain yesterday added to nuclear worries.
Temperatures in storage pools for Units 5 and 6 continued their several days of decline yesterday to a safe, cool level, the nuclear safety agency said.
But the buildup in pressure inside the vessel holding Unit 3's reactor renewed the danger, forcing officials to consider venting. The tactic produced explosions during the early days of the crisis.
"Even if certain things go smoothly there would be twists and turns," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters. "At the moment, we are not so optimistic that there will be a breakthrough."

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