A fresh operation is underway to cool the stricken nuclear reactor at Fukushima. Jets of seawater are again being used to reduce the risk of another explosion and stop a leak of radioactive uranium.
But Japan’s nuclear alert is unlikely to be another Chernobyl, according to the head of the UN’s atomic energy agency.
Yukiya Amano says there are several differences between this situation and the world’s worst nuclear accident.
“The nuclear power plants have been shaken, flooded, cut off from power and operators have suffered personal tragedies. Affected reactors have been shut down automatically, they have been shut down so there is no longer a chain reaction of nuclear material. One of our major roles in this event is to coordinate assistance provided by a member state. Japan has asked the agency for assistance and an expert mission,” said Amano.
Experts say a natural decaying process means that the amount of heat the fuel produces has fallen dramatically.