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Japanese officials scramble to control nuclear reactor

Attempts continue, including using sea water injections and steam releases, to cool the reactor at Fukushima Daiichi power plant, Japanese authorities say.

March 12, 2011|Molly Hennessy-Fiske | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
  • Damage from an explosion is evident at the building housing a reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear power plant. Photo was provided by the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the facility.
Damage from an explosion is evident at the building housing a reactor at… (Reuters )

Attempts to control a nuclear reactor that exploded after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in northern Japan continued Sunday using sea water injections and steam releases to cool the reactor, authorities said.

Photos: Scenes from the earthquake

Friday's quake and tsunami left the No.1 reactor at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi power plant with a crippled cooling system, causing the reactor temperature and pressure to increase.

"We are doing the two things at the same time - venting air out of the reactor and supplying water into the reactor," Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said during a Sunday press conference broadcast and streamed live online by NHK.

"Radiation released in the process is low enough not to affect people's health," Edano said.

However, Edano said 19 people have been exposed to radiation associated with the plant failure.

Go To NHK World English website.

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