Just headlines for now. We can only hope that the containment pool is not involved.
- TOKYO ELECTRIC WORKER SAW FIRE AT 5:44 LOCAL TIME
- FIRE AT FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI NO. 4 REACTOR, NHK REPORTS
A new fire broke out at a nuclear reactor early Wednesday, a day after the power plant emitted a burst of radiation that panicked an already edgy Japan and left the government struggling to contain a spiraling crisis caused by last week's earthquake and tsunami.
The latest blaze erupted in the outer housing of the containment vessel at the No. 4 unit at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, said Hajimi Motujuku, a spokesman for the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Japan's nuclear safety agency also confirmed the fire, whose cause was not immediately known.
On Tuesday, a fire broke out in the same reactor's fuel storage pond - an area where used nuclear fuel is kept cool - causing radioactivity to be released into the atmosphere.
Radiation levels in areas around the nuclear plant, which rose early Tuesday afternoon, appeared to subside by evening, officials said. But the unease remained in a country trying to recover from the massive disasters that are believed to have killed more than 10,000 people and battered the world's third-largest economy.
The radiation leak caused the government to order 140,000 people living within 20 miles (30 kilometers) of the plant to seal themselves indoors to avoid exposure, and authorities declared a ban on commercial air traffic through the area. Worries about radiation rippled through Tokyo and other areas far beyond that cordon. The stock market plunged for a second day, dropping 10 percent.
NHK is currently reporting live on Reactor 4 developments (click on picture for live stream):