This is scary..
TOKYO: World Health Organisation said on Monday that radiation in food after an earthquake damaged Japanese nuclear plant was more serious than previously thought, eclipsing signs of progress in a battle to avert a catastrophic meltdown in the reactors.
Engineers managed to rig power cables to all six reactors at the Fukushima complex, 240 km north of Tokyo, and started a water pump at one of them to reverse the overheating that has triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.
Some workers were later evacuated from one of the most badly damaged reactors when gray smoke rose from the site. There was no immediate explanation for the smoke, but authorities had said earlier that pressure was building up at the No. 3 reactor.
The amount of smoke later receded and Japan’s nuclear safety agency said there was no significant change in radiation levels at the site.
The March 11 earthquake and tsunami left more than 21,000 people dead or missing and will cost an already beleaguered economy some $250 billion, making it the world’s costliest ever natural disaster.
News of progress at the nuclear plant was overshadowed by mounting concern that radioactive particles already released into the atmosphere have contaminated food and water supplies.
“Quite clearly it’s a serious situation,” Peter Cordingley, Manila-based spokesman for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) regional office for the Western Pacific, told Reuters in a telephone interview.
“It’s a lot more serious than anybody thought in the early days when we thought that this kind of problem can be limited to 20 to 30 kilometres … It’s safe to suppose that some contaminated produce got out of the contamination zone.”
However, he said there was no evidence of contaminated food from Fukushima reaching other countries.
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