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Water level falls in Fukushima nuclear plant after earthquake

Christian Fernsby |
The Japanese authorities have sounded the alarm after the cooling-water level in two wrecked reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant began falling following a powerful earthquake in the area last week.

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Topics: FUKUSHIMA   

The water level has fallen by as much as 70cm (27in) in the plant’s Unit 1 and 30cm (11in) in Unit 3.

The suspected impact on the containment chambers in their reactors was caused by Saturday’s quake, in which some 180 people sustained mostly minor injuries, and there was disruption to power and water supplies, and damage to high-speed rail networks and numerous homes.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) spokesman Keisuke Matsuo warned of possible additional damage at the plant that could further frustrate its decades-long decommissioning process.

Since Saturday, the additional cooling water pumped into the site to lower the melted nuclear fuel left behind has been leaking out at a higher rate than before. TEPCO said it would continue to closely monitor both the water and temperatures at the plant in the coming days and weeks.

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