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Bitter-sweet day for Fukushima

Power almost restored but officials warn of further gas release

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An aerial view of Japan's Fukushima plant, as officials say further gas release is unavoidable. (Getty Images)
An aerial view of Japan's Fukushima plant, as officials say further gas release is unavoidable. (Getty Images)

Officials have said that workers at the quake-damaged Fukushima nuclear facility are close to restoring power to the plant, but have also announced a gas release will be required to relieve pressure.

Engineers have connected a cable which is hoped to finally bring power back to Fukushima – and also its water-cooling systems – but Japanese officials have said that releasing radioactive gas into the air is a necessary step.

Mounting pressure inside reactor No3’s containment vessel is causing concern, and Hidehiko Nishiyama, of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has said: “In order to be safe, we need to take measures to lower the pressure of the containment vessel. That means air containing radioactive substances will be emitted into the atmosphere.”

The news comes as concern over radioactively tainted milk and spinach is found 30km from the plant, and radioactive iodine in Tokyo’s water supply, although authorities have been quick to say that the amounts are very low, and pose little threat to humans.
 

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