16 Mar '11, 3am

Nuclear rescue work halted as radiation levels rise

TOKYO: The workers battling to contain the crisis at Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant were all temporarily evacuated Wednesday because of a rise in radiation levels, a nuclear safety agency official said. "Around 10:40 am (0140 GMT) we ordered the evacuation of workers... due to the rise in (radioactivity) data around the gate" of the plant, the official said at a televised press conference. The evacuation came after Japanese TV footage showed smoke billowing from Fukushima No. 1 plant 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo. Japanese officials said later the smoke was likely to have been caused by a damaged reactor containment vessel. A fire broke out early Wednesday at the number-four reactor there but was said to have been extinguished later. Engineers have been grappling with a nuclear emergency since last Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami cut power...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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