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Radiation fears empty Tokyo streets

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 01:36

Mar 16 - Streets of Tokyo were deserted amid radiation fears and workers briefly left the Daiichi nuclear plant after levels surged. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.

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Tokyo's streets were almost empty during what would normally be a busy lunchtime. Fears rose still higher when another fire broke out at the Daiichi nuclear plant, sending low levels of radiation towards the capital. One mother was tearful as she brought her children to school. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) UNIDENTIFIED LOCAL MOTHER SAYING: "I don't want to scare my children, (almost in tears) I'm sorry, if its possible, I want my children to spend every day having fun, and having good feelings, and I want them to do everything that we are allowed to do as long as it is safe... if I show them that I'm nervous, my children will get nervous." Local broadcaster NHK showed pictures of white smoke or steam rising from the nuclear plant. A helicopter was also preparing to pour water onto reactor number three to try to cool its fuel rods. Japan's cabinet secretary said radiation levels were rising at the facility. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE CABINET SECRETARY YUKIO EDANO SAYING: "Hydrogen has been seen emanating from a section of the fuel pool and the radiation levels are rising. There was a build-up in hydrogen steam which was radioactive so momentarily there was a period when high radiation levels were recorded, that is what we believe." Some countries are to start testing Japanese food products for radiation. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters

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Radiation fears empty Tokyo streets

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 01:36