Second blast at Japanese nuclear plant
Third reactor buckles under pressure; core intact say officials
A second blast has rocked the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant in north east Japan following Friday’s earthquake and tsunami.
The plant’s third reactor has been devastated by an explosion, thought to have been caused by a build-up of hydrogen, but officials are confident that the reactor’s core has remained intact in an attempt to quell fears of a radioactive leak.
Yukio Edano, a government spokesman, has said that the possibility of radioactive contamination from the explosion is low, and that the reactor’s containment vessel had resisted the impact.
Following yesterday’s explosion at the number one reactor, workers at the plant have been struggling to cool the number three unit, even resorting to pumping in seawater to ensure that fuel rods were not exposed to the atmosphere.
Sources have said that the rods were briefly exposed, and while authorities are still confident that radiation levels are not a cause for concern, reports indicate that as many as 20 people are now being treated for radiation exposure.