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August 14, 2022

Japan nuclear progress as toll up

TOKYO – Workers were temporarily evacuated from the complex after grey smoke was seen rising from the No 3 reactor.

Electricity has been restored to three reactors at the Japanese nuclear plant wrecked by fire and explosions after the 11 March quake and tsunami, the BBC informs. Some workers at the stricken facility were temporarily evacuated after smoke was seen rising from reactor No 3. Reports said the smoke appeared to have come from a pool where the reactor’s spent fuel rods are kept. Radiation levels did not appear to have risen significantly though after the smoke was spotted, Japan’s nuclear safety agency said.

White smoke was later seen rising from the No 2 reactor, the agency said. “The crisis has still not been resolved and the situation at the [plant] remains very serious,” Yukiya Amano, the head of the IAEA, told an emergency board meeting. But he said: “I have no doubt that this crisis will be effectively overcome.”
The official death toll from the quake and tsunami has now risen to 8,450. Nearly 13,000 people are still missing. Meanwhile, the government has ordered a halt to some food shipments from four prefectures around the Fukushima nuclear plant, as concern increases about radioactive traces in vegetables and water supplies. Villagers living near the plant have been told not to drink tap water because of higher levels of radioactive iodin

The World Health Orga­ni­za­tion said it had no evidence of contaminated food reaching other coun­tries. However, China, Tai­wan and South Korea have announ­ced plans to toughen checks of Japanese imports.
An estimated 500,000 people have been made homeless in the disaster. It is also making the recovery work a much more grim and difficult task. Search-and-relief efforts in the prefecture of Miyagi, where the police chief believes the final quake-tsunami death toll could reach 15,000, have been delayed by driving rain. More than 350,000 people are still living in evacuation centres in northern and eastern Japan. There are shortages of food, water, fuel and medicine in the shelters, officials say. Some aid from foreign countries has started to arrive, and the government has started the process of finding temporary housing in other parts of the country for those made homeless. Nearly 900,000 households are still without water.

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