Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Wednesday 29 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
AP Photo/Japan Defence Ministry Image of damaged Reactor 3, left, released last week.
# Fukushima
Video: Experts fear reactor core breached at Fukushima
Work at plant halted again today as officials try to assess if the third reactor’s core has a crack or hole in it.

JAPANESE OFFICIALS SAY one of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant may have a crack or hole in it or in its spent fuel pool which would mean more serious radioactive contamination than previously thought.

Work to restore cooling systems to the Reactor 3 has stopped as officials try to establish if its core has been breached.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said that the situation at the plant remains “grave and serious”:

We must be vigilant. We are not in a position where we can be optimistic. We must treat every development with the utmost care.

Two workers at the plant are being treated for skin burns after being splashed by water contaminated with 10,000 times the safe amount of radiation.

Japanese Cabinet Minister Yukio Edano said at a press conference today that the authorities are still working to establish the source of highly radiated water at the reactor – and which experts now fear came from the breached core.

Nuclear safety agency NISA said it has directed plant operator TEPCO to immediately review and improve radiation control measures at the plant.

The official death toll two weeks after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck the north-east of Japan has risen above 10,000 and more than 17,400 remain missing.

Japan faces an enormous task in cleaning up after the disasters, as shown in the AP video below. VOA News reports that the cost of the damage could be over €218bn:

- Includes reporting from the AP

Read: Two Japanese visitors to China hospitalised with ‘severe’ radiation levels >