Nature of explosion at Japan nuke plant (or near it) still unclear

Asia Alert from the Wall Street Journal:

“A building at a troubled Japanese nuclear power facility collapsed Saturday afternoon with smoke billowing out, and officials responded by expanding the evacuation perimeter and saying they were preparing to stockpile iodine supplies ‘just in case.’

“Officials declined, however, to say whether the explosion had occurred specifically at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuclear reactor, or to confirm media reports that a sharp increase in radiation outside the site had been detected.

“Hours earlier, a spokesman for the plant operator said efforts to avoid a meltdown appeared to be making progress.”

Japan Tries Using Seawater to Cool Damaged Reactor
By MARI IWATA And ANDREW MONAHAN

TOKYO-Japanese officials continued their battle to control dangerous reactor overheating in the nation’s worst nuclear accident that followed Friday’s earthquake, as they resorted to an unprecedented attempt to cool the reactor with seawater.

Top government officials assured the nation Saturday evening that an explosion that took place at one of the reactors at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant earlier in the day merely knocked down the walls of its external concrete building, and that the reactor and the containment structure surrounding it remained intact.

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