Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Authorities race to stop radioactive water seeping into Pacific

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-04-04

Japanese authorities on Sunday began pouring concrete into the pit of Fukushima’s damaged reactor in a bid to plug a crack that was found to be leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

REUTERS - Japanese officials grappling on Sunday to end the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl were focusing on a crack in a concrete pit that was leaking radiation into the ocean from a crippled reactor.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it had found a crack in the pit at its No.2 reactor in Fukushima, generating readings 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour in the air inside the pit.

"With radiation levels rising in the seawater near the plant, we have been trying to confirm the reason why, and in that context, this could be one source," said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), said on Saturday.

He cautioned, however: "We can't really say for certain until we've studied the results."

TEPCO has begun pouring concrete into the pit to stop the leak, he said.

Public broadcaster NHK said late on Saturday that water was preventing the concrete from hardening and the pit was still leaking.

Officials from the utility said checks of the other five reactors found no cracks.

Nishiyama said that to cool the damaged reactor, NISA was looking at alternatives to pumping in water, including an improvised air conditioning system, spraying the reactor fuel rods with vaporized water or using the plant's cleaning system.

PM under pressure

As the disaster that has left 28,000 dead or missing dragged into a fourth week, Prime Minister Naoto Kan toured devastated coastal towns in northern Japan on Saturday, offering refugees government support for rebuilding homes and livelihoods.

 "It will be kind of a long battle, but the government will be working hard together with you until the end," Kyodo news agency quoted him as telling people in a shelter in Rikuzentakata, a fishing port flattened by the tsunami which struck on March 11 after a massive earthquake.

Unpopular and under pressure to quit or call a snap poll before the disaster, Kan has been criticised for his management of the humanitarian and nuclear crisis. Some tsunami survivors said he came to visit them too late.

Kan also entered the 20-km (12-mile) evacuation zone and visited J-village just inside the zone, a sports facility serving as the headquarters for emergency teams trying to cool the six-reactor Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Operators of the plant are no closer to regaining control of damaged reactors, as fuel rods remain overheated and high levels of radiation are flowing into the sea.

Japan is facing a damages bill which may top $300 billion -- the world's biggest from a natural disaster.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday the Japanese economy would take a short-term hit and it could not rule out further intervention for the yen.

The consequences for the world's third largest economy have already seen manufacturing slump to a two-year low. Power outages and quake damage have hit supply chains and production.

Hundreds of thousands remain homeless, sheltering in evacuation centres, as the death toll from the disaster rises.

Thousands of Japanese and U.S. soldiers on Saturday conducted a search for bodies using dozens of ships and helicopters to sweep across land still under water along the northeast coast. The teams hope when a large spring tide recedes it will make it easier to spot bodies.

Radiation 4,000 times the legal limit has been detected in seawater near the Daiichi plant and a floating tanker was to be towed to Fukushima to store contaminated seawater. But until the plant's internal cooling system is reconnected radiation will flow from the plant.
 

Date created : 2011-04-02

  • JAPAN

    Nuclear plant reviews radiation data after errors

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Sarkozy calls for nuclear reform during Japan visit

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Despite UN recommendation, Japan will not widen evacuation zone

    Read more

COMMENT(S)