Number 2 Reactor Explodes, Damaging Core Containment Structure

There has now been an explosion at Fukushima reactor number 2 (reactors number 1 and 3 experienced explosions previously).

NHK reports:

The sound of a blast was heard Tuesday morning at the troubled No. 2 reactor of the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the government said.

The incident occurred at 6:10 a.m. and is feared to have damaged the reactor’s pressure-suppression system, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said, citing a report from the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.

MSN notes:

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters that “damage appears on the suppression pool” — the bottom part of the container, which contains water used to cool down the reactor and control air pressure inside.

“But we have not recorded any sudden jump in radiation indicators,” Edano said without elaborating.

If confirmed, it will be the first direct damage to the reactor since a massive earthquake and tsunami battered Japan’s northeast coast on Friday, knocking out nuclear plants in Fukushima, north of Tokyo.

Kyodo News is reporting higher radiation levels North of Tokyo after the blast.

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