Update on Japan nuclear reactor damage

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Asia
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Japan scrambles as reactor container ‘damaged’

SENDAI, Japan – The container around an overheating nuclear reactor appears to be damaged, Japan’s government said Tuesday, raising the chance that dangerous radiation could leak from the quake-hit plant.

The announcement came as engineers scrambled to keep the temperature of three reactors under control after they were hit by the tsunami that swept Japan following Friday’s massive earthquake.

Rescue teams searching through the shattered debris of whole villages swept away by the wall of water on Japan’s northeast coast found 2,000 bodies in the region of Miyagi.

Millions have been left without water, electricity, fuel or enough food and hundreds of thousands more were homeless after the monster waves engulfed whole towns.

More than 10,000 people were feared to have perished in one prefecture alone in the aftermath of an earthquake US seismologists said had a magnitude of 9.0, raising their previous estimate of its strength.

Eyes were on the Tokyo stock exchange early Tuesday after punishing losses a day earlier that sent markets around the world sliding.

Panic selling saw stocks close more than six percent lower on the Tokyo bourse Monday on fears for the world’s third-biggest economy, as power shortages prompted rolling blackouts and factory shutdowns in quake-hit areas.

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