Just hours after an explosion at a second earthquake-damaged reactor at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, it is being reported that cooling functions have broken down at a third.
There have been desperate attempts to control the temperature of the reactors since Friday’s earthquake and tsunami caused a massive systems failure.
Officials say the possibility of a large-scale radiation leak is “small”.
Japan’s Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the second explosion was similar to the first three days ago. The inner structure of the reactor has not been damaged, he added, and confirmed the possibility of a large-scale radioactive leak was low.
In the wake of Friday’s disaster, there is now uncertainty over energy supplies.
The national power company is to implement rolling blackouts in Tokyo and surrounding cities to save power.