Japan set to extend nuclear evacuation zone

By REUTERS
April 11, 2011 07:10

 
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TOKYO - Japan plans to extend the evacuation zone around its crippled nuclear plant because of high radiation levels, local media reported on Monday, with engineers no closer to regaining control of six reactors hit by a giant tsunami one month ago.

Concern at Japan's inability contain its nuclear crisis, caused by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami, is mounting with Prime Minister Naoto Kan's ruling party suffering embarrassing losses in local elections on Sunday and neighbouring China and South Korea voicing criticism.

Engineers at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo said on Sunday they were no closer to restoring the plant's cooling system which is critical if overheated fuel rods are to be cooled and the six reactors brought under control.

They are hoping to stop pumping radioactive water into the ocean on Monday, days later than planned.

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