Radiation fears grow in disaster-struck Japan

By REUTERS
March 21, 2011 20:10

 
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TOKYO - Global anxiety rose over radiation from Japan's earthquake - damaged nuclear plant even as engineers had some success in the battle to avert disaster from the world's worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.

The high-stakes drama at the battered Fukushima nuclear power complex is playing out while the Asian nation grapples with the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left at least 21,000 people dead or missing.

Technicians working inside an evacuation zone round the stricken plant on Japan's northeast Pacific coast have finally managed to attach power cables to all six reactors and started a water pump at one of them to cool overheating nuclear fuel rods.

"We see a light for getting out of the crisis," an official quoted Prime Minister Naoto Kan as saying, allowing himself some rare optimism in Japan's toughest moment since World War II.

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