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Pool boils at Japan nuke plant as evacuees weary

 A rescue worker sifts through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 earthquake and tsuna...
 An Urban Search and Rescue officer from South Africa sifts through debris during a search of a suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, Ma...
 Japanese rescue workers prepare to sift through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 ea...
 In this photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), gray smoke rises from Unit 3 of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power pla...
 An elderly Japanese woman searches for her belongings in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami-destroyed town of Rikuzentakata, northeastern Japan, Mon...
 Evacuees take a footbath installed at an evacuation center in Minamisanriku, northern Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, after the March 11 earthquake an...
 In this photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), gray smoke rises from Unit 3 of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power pla...
 In this Sept. 2010 photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co., workers are seen at work at the central control room of reactor Unit 3 of Tokyo Electr...
 Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel march by coffins during a burial ceremony for the March 11 tsunami victims in Higashimatsushima City, Miyag...
 Family members place dirt over a coffin during a burial ceremony for the March 11 tsunami victims in Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan...
 In this Sunday, March 20, 2011 photo, a classroom burned by a fire is seen in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami-destroyed city of  Ishinomaki, nort...
 In this Sept. 2010 photo, Tokyo Electric Power Co. workers are seen at work at the central control room of reactor Unit 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi n...
 Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel prepare to lay a coffin during a burial ceremony for the March 11 tsunami victims in Higashimatsushima City...

Japan Earthquake

A rescue worker sifts through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 earthquake and tsuna...

Japan Earthquake

An Urban Search and Rescue officer from South Africa sifts through debris during a search of a suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, Ma...

Japan Earthquake

Japanese rescue workers prepare to sift through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 ea...

Japan Earthquake

In this photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), gray smoke rises from Unit 3 of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power pla...

APTOPIX Japan Earthquake

An elderly Japanese woman searches for her belongings in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami-destroyed town of Rikuzentakata, northeastern Japan, Mon...

Japan Earthquake

Evacuees take a footbath installed at an evacuation center in Minamisanriku, northern Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, after the March 11 earthquake an...

Japan Earthquake

In this photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), gray smoke rises from Unit 3 of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power pla...

Japan Earthquake

In this Sept. 2010 photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co., workers are seen at work at the central control room of reactor Unit 3 of Tokyo Electr...

Japan Earthquake

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel march by coffins during a burial ceremony for the March 11 tsunami victims in Higashimatsushima City, Miyag...

Japan Earthquake

Family members place dirt over a coffin during a burial ceremony for the March 11 tsunami victims in Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan...

Japan Earthquake

In this Sunday, March 20, 2011 photo, a classroom burned by a fire is seen in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami-destroyed city of Ishinomaki, nort...

Japan Earthquake

In this Sept. 2010 photo, Tokyo Electric Power Co. workers are seen at work at the central control room of reactor Unit 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi n...

Japan Earthquake

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel prepare to lay a coffin during a burial ceremony for the March 11 tsunami victims in Higashimatsushima City...

Weariness and anxiety percolated Tuesday among people who left their homes near Japan's radiation-shedding nuclear complex as workers tried urgently to cool an overheated storage pool and methodically to reconnect critical cooling systems.
In another day of progress and setbacks, a pool holding spent nuclear fuel heated up to around the boiling point, a nuclear safety official said. With water bubbling away, there is a risk that more radioactive steam could spew out. "We cannot leave this alone and we must take care of it as quickly as possible," said the official, Hidehiko Nishiyama.
It wasn't clear if crews had to retreat to stop work hooking up electrical systems and checking machinery to power up cooling systems.
People at Fukushima city's main evacuation center waited in long lines for bowls of hot noodle soup. A truck delivered toilet paper and blankets. Many among the 1,400 people living in the crowded gymnasium came from communities near the nuclear plant and worry about radiation and weary of the daily routine of the displaced.
"It was an act of God," said Yoshihiro Amano, a grocery store owner whose house is 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the reactors. "It won't help anything to get angry. But we are worried. We don't know if it will takes days, months or decades to go home. Maybe never. We are just starting to be able to think ahead to that."
Public sentiment is such that Fukushima's governor rejected a meeting offered by the president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, the utility that runs the nuclear plant.
"What is most important is for TEPCO to end the crisis with maximum effort. So I rejected the offer," Gov. Yuhei Sato said on national broadcaster NHK. "Considering the anxiety, anger and exasperation being felt by people in Fukushima, there is just no way for me to accept their apology."
The nuclear crisis has added a broader dimension to the disaster unleashed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that pulverized the northeast coast, leaving more than 9,000 dead by official count and twice that in police estimates.
Three of Japan's marquee companies _ Sony Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. _ announced halts to production at plants in Japan. The reason is a shortage of parts _ a result of so many ruined factories in the disaster area.
Fears about radiation are reaching well beyond those living near Fukushima and the 430,000 displaced by the earthquake and tsunami to encompass large segments of Japan. Traces of radiation are being found in vegetables and raw milk from a swath of farmland, forcing a government ban on sales from those areas.
Seawater near the Fukushima plant is showing elevated levels of radioactive iodine and cesium, prompting the government to test seafood.


Updated : 2021-08-03 13:55 GMT+08:00