Fukushima plant operator to evacuate control room personnelMarch 15th, 2011 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, March 15 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The operator of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant said Tuesday that all personnel must be evacuated from the control room at the plant’s reactor No.1 after radiation levels became critical, Kyodo news agency said.
The agency did not report the exact radiation level reading.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, said the container of a reactor may have been partially damaged, Jiji Press reported.
The company said earlier Tuesday the problem could develop into a critical “meltdown” situation after part of the container vessel in reactor No.2 was damaged following a hydrogen explosion at 2110 GMT Monday.
The level of radiation around Fukushima No.1 in northeastern Japan is high enough to affect human health, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.
The No.1, No.2 and No.3 reactors are all releasing hazardous radioactive material.
All residents within a 20-km radius of the plant have been evacuated, Japan’s National Police Agency said.
Blasts at Fukushima No.1 have escalated concerns about a possible nuclear disaster in the country, which was devastated by a massive magnitude-9 earthquake followed by tsunami Friday.
The official toll from the quake was 2,722, but estimates were that the number of dead would exceed 10,000.
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