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Two nuclear units cooled in Japan

Two separate units at Japan’s embattled Fukushima nuclear plant have been safely cooled down, despite an unexpected increase in pressure in a third unit’s reactor.

As a result in the climb in pressure, plant operators may decide to release radioactive steam, which would mean the nuclear crisis being prolonged following the chaos of the earthquake and tsunami since 11 March.

The official death toll moved up to 8,450, alongside more than 12,900 people who are still reported missing.

However there was news of a rare rescue amid the death and destruction, with a police following a teenage boy’s cries for help to rescue him and his 80-year-old grandmother from a ruined house.

Further afield, concern has been developing about the safety of food and water. Shipments of spinach from one area and raw milk from another near the nuclear plant were stopped by the government following tests which found iodine exceeded safety limits.

However the contamination also spread to spinach in three separate areas and to more vegetables - canola and chrysanthemum greens. Tokyo’s tap water, where iodine was found on Friday, now has cesium. Rain and dust are tainted too.

In all cases, the government said the radiation levels were too small to pose an immediate risk to health.

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