Japan: New Tensions at Nuclear Plant

Japan: New Tensions at Nuclear PlantTokyo, Mar 21. -Japan is experiencing new tensions today in the crisis at the Fukushima-1 nuclear plant, after a column of gray smoke was seen coming from the building housing the reactor in Unit 3, forcing workers to evacuate.

* Japan: Earthquake Death Toll Rises to 8,649 The incident was recorded at 15:55 local time and the amount of gas later diminished, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant.

The reactor became the focus of a tragedy at Fukushima-1 after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11.

The reactorâ�Ös cooling system was damaged, and its core is believed to have fused partially.

On Sunday, pressure in the Unit 3 core surged but later stabilized. The building also was affected by a hydrogen explosion last week.

Water was being poured on the reactor and a pool for used fuel rods as part of the efforts to combat overheating, as workers tried to restore electricity to two units.

The government on Sunday announced that the six-reactor plant would be shut down in face of the problems that have emerged since the quake and tsunami, including radiation leaks. (Prensa Latina)