Monday, March 21, 2011

Workers Evacuated as Smoke Rises From Japanese Nuclear Plant

Nuclear authorities say workers have been evacuated from an area of Japan's troubled nuclear plant after gray smoke was seen coming from one of its reactors.

Officials said Monday that no increase in radiation levels has been detected and they are still trying to determine the cause of the smoke.

The new threat at the Fukushima nuclear plant came as heavy rain pounded northeastern Japan's earthquake-stricken regions, grounding relief helicopters and prompting increased fears about radiation.

The weather forced Prime Minister Naoto Kan to cancel a planned visit to a staging area for relief supplies just 20 kilometers from the Fukushima plant, where work crews continue to spray seawater to keep spent fuel rods from overheating.

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