Snapshot: Japan's nuclear crisis

TOKYO Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:53pm EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Following are main developments after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated northeast Japan and crippled a nuclear power station, raising the risk of uncontrolled radiation.

- Nuclear plant still emitting radiation but source unclear, says IAEA. The UN atomic watchdog says Japan has not given some information relating to one reactor.

- Smoke and steam seen rising from two of the most threatening reactors, No.2 and No.3, at the Fukushima nuclear plant, denting hopes of immediate progress in bringing them under control.

- Core of reactor No. 1 also a worry with temperature touching 380-390 Celsius (715-735 Fahrenheit), plant operator says. Reactor built to run at a temperature of 302 C (575 F).

- Engineers have re-established power cables to all six reactors and have started a pump at one of them to cool overheating fuel rods. Lighting had been restored at one of the control rooms, local media said.

* Japan's health ministry says it has detected above-safety level radiation in 11 types of vegetables from the Fukushima area where the nuclear plants are located, Kyodo news agency reports on Wednesday.

- The World Health Organization said on Tuesday the detection of radiation in food is a more serious problem than first expected, and food contamination is not a localized problem. It says, however, there is no evidence of contaminated food from Fukushima reaching other countries.

- Plant operator TEPCO says a small trace of radiation had been found in the Pacific nearby, but officials stressed the levels were minute and posed no immediate danger.

- Miniscule numbers of radioactive particles believed to have come from the crippled nuclear power plant have been detected as far away as Iceland, diplomatic sources say. But the tiny traces were far too low to cause any harm.

- China and South Korea say they will toughen radioactivity tests on imports of Japanese food, and Japan tells four prefectures near the nuclear plant to halt shipments of spinach.

- Government also bans milk shipments from Fukushima province. Japanese food produced outside the nuclear crisis zone is safe.

- Official death toll from earthquake and tsunami exceeds 9,000, Kyodo news agency reports national police as saying.

* The government estimates the total damage from the quake will reach 15-25 trillion yen ($185-308 billion), the Nikkei newspaper reports.

(Tokyo bureau; Compiled by World Desk Asia)

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