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Reactor core damage feared at Fukushima

Japanese nuclear safety officials say they suspect that the reactor core at one unit of the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant may have breached.

That raises the possibility of more severe radioactive contamination to the environment.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the nuclear safety agency, said today that “something at the reactor may have been damaged” in Unit 3 of the six-unit plant.

He said “our data suggest the reactor retains certain containment functions”, an implication that the damage may have occurred in the reactor’s core, but that it was limited.

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