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Japan fights to stop radiation leak into sea

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Author Topic: Japan fights to stop radiation leak into sea  (Read 19 times)
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« on: April 03, 2011, 11:57:27 am »

Japan fights to stop radiation leak into sea

Sendai, Japan, April 3, 2011 (AFP) - Workers at Japan’s crippled nuclear plant Sunday struggled to stop a radioactive water leak into the Pacific, as the government warned the facility may spread contamination for months.

Along the tsunami-ravaged coast, 25,000 Japanese and US military and rescue crew completed a massive three-day search for bodies, more than three weeks after the catastrophe struck.

While cherry blossoms opened in Tokyo, temperatures plunged again, leaving tens of thousands of homeless shivering in evacuation camps along the ravaged northeast coast of Japan’s main Honshu island.

There was no quick end in sight for the world’s worst nuclear emergency since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, warned a government lawmaker who has advised Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the crisis at the six-reactor plant.

"This is going to be a long battle," said Goshi Hosono, who highlighted the threat from 4.5 metre (15 foot) long spent fuel rods that remain volatile for months and need to be cooled in pools with circulating water.

"The biggest challenge at this plant is that there are more than 10,000 spent fuel rods," Hosono said on Fuji TV. "It will take a very long time to reprocess them, and we sincerely apologise for that.

"It is unacceptable that radioactive substances keep being released, causing anxiety among the people. Probably it will take several months before we reach the point" where all radiation leaks stop, he said.

Outside the headquarters of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), about 100 protesters, outnumbered by police, shouted: "No more nuclear plants!" and "TEPCO, government — be responsible!"

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