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A police officer searches for bodies inside the exclusion zone around the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant. Hiro Komae/AP/Press Association Images
LIVE BLOG

Efforts to stabilise Japanese nuclear plant could take until June

Engineers working to stabilise the plant want to avoid flooding the reactors as this would lead to more contaminated water flowing into the ocean.

THE FIGHT TO stabilise the stricken reactors at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear plant will last until June as engineers undertake a method known as “feed and bleed”.

The Tokyo Electric Power Companuy (TEPCO) are choosing this method over a proposal to flood reactors with water which could lower the reactors dangerously high temperatures within days because of the risk of releasing far more contaminated water into the ocean, Bloomberg reports.

The “feed and bleed” method involves pumping in water and venting off steam but the lengthier process leaves the plant more vulnerable to further earthquakes and radiation leaks.

On Tuesday the alert level at the plant was raised to the maximum crisis level of 7 because of the cumulative radiation leaks since 11 March.

Japan has experienced hundreds of aftershocks since the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake on 11 March which caused a massive tsunami and severely damaged the Fukushima plant.

The New York Times says that doctors in Japan are reporting large numbers of people as suffering from “earthquake sickness” with symptoms including feeling the ground shaking when it is not, dizziness and anxiety.

One doctor told the paper:

People are getting too sensitive. This is something we’ve never experienced before.

The disaster has so far left 13,456 people dead and another 14,851 missing.

BBC News reports that Japanese police have now begun the search for bodies of victims within the a 10 kilometres zone around the damaged plant where up to 1,000 bodies are thought to be.

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