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'Something Like Steam' Still Billowing from Fukushima

Second report of unwelcome emissions in less than one week

Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

“Something like steam” continued to billow out of Fukushima's nuclear reactor 3 building on Tuesday morning, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. said, confirming the latest omen that the ongoing nuclear catastrophe will not end any time soon.

The presence of the emissions in the reactor building is the second instance in less than a week.

In a worse case scenario, the steam-like substance could be the result of renewed nuclear reactions—a possibility TEPCO, the site's operator, denied but one that could mean large amounts of radioactive substances are being released.

TEPCO said workers are continuing to inject cooling water into the reactor and a pool storing nuclear fuel.

Japan Times reports:

Tokyo Electric Power Co. confirmed Tuesday that “something like steam” again issued from the building housing reactor 3, one of three units to suffer core meltdowns in March 2011, at its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

TEPCO said one of its monitoring cameras showed what appeared to be steam escaping from the building’s fifth floor just above the reactor container at around 9:05 a.m. Tuesday.

The steam continued to be seen until 10:30 a.m., TEPCO officials said.

On July 18, what appeared to be steam also was seen at the fifth-floor level of the reactor 3 building. But no steam was seen the following day.

On Monday TEPCO publicly admitted for the first time since the disaster that contaminated groundwater has been leaking from the nuclear power plant and that the number of workers exposed to dangerous radiation is ten times greater than previously claimed.


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