Already battling to contain a radiation leak at an earthquake-crippled nuclear plant, Japan is now facing a fresh threat at another reactor.
The fear is that Saturday’s explosion and leak at the Fukushima facility could be repeated after the failure of a cooling system in a second reactor.
The blast blew the roof off the building housing the No.1 reactor. Reactor No.3 is now causing concern, hence the decision to release radioactive steam to relieve pressure.
The government has warned that a possible meltdown process may have begun in the two quake-hit reactors, among more than 50 nuclear reactors in Japan.
Around the Fukushima sites, at least 140,000 people have been evacuated. Iodine was being distributed to protect locals against radiation. But Japan’s nuclear safety agency has already said the number of people exposed could reach 160.