Japan’s quake-stricken nuclear power plant Fukushima No.1 “may be experiencing nuclear meltdown” amid signs that radioactive Cesium has been detected near the plant.
The Fukushima No.1, which is located some 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of the Japanese capital, Tokyo, “may be experiencing nuclear meltdown,” Kyodo and Jiji news reported on Saturday.
Reports also say that Cesium has been detected near Fukushima nuclear plant, following warnings that there could be a small radiation leak from the facility.
Meanwhile, residents within three kilometres of the plant were ordered to leave their homes.
The government is holding a crisis meeting to discuss the situation at the two nuclear power plants.
On Friday afternoon, a magnitude 8.9 earthquake erupted, 15 miles (24 kilometers) down, off the northeast coast of Japan’s main island, which unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours.
Japanese officials have warned that there could be a small radiation leak from the Fukushima nuclear plant, which was shut down after its cooling system was knocked out in the wake of Friday’s earthquake.
Officials say radiation 1,000 times above normal has been detected in the control room of the nuclear plant, adding that there is no immediate health hazard yet, as levels outside the facility’s gates were only eight times above normal.
Tokyo Electric Power stated that some radioactive vapor at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants, both located about 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Tokyo, have been released in order to relieve building reactor pressure.
Meanwhile, large-scale relief efforts are underway in disaster-hit areas. Japan’s military has mobilized thousands of troops, hundreds of planes and dozens of ships. Agencies