UN atom chief sees possible Japan plant core damage

VIENNA, March 15 Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:26pm EDT

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VIENNA, March 15 (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief said on Tuesday there might be limited core damage at the No. 2 unit of the earthquake-stricken Fukushima power plant.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told a news conference that there was a "possibility of core damage" at unit 2. "The damage is estimated to be less than 5 pct."

He also said recent developments in Japan's nuclear crisis were "worrying" but he still believed the situation was different from that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Still, he wanted more timely, detailed information about Japan's events.

(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl and Sylvia Westall; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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