March 14, 2011 / 8:43 AM / 7 years ago

Wind near quake-hit Japan plant forecast to blow inland

TOKYO (Reuters) - The wind over a quake-damaged nuclear complex in northeast Japan where low levels of radiation have been released will blow south until Tuesday when it will turn inland, a weather official said.

The wind direction is expected to change at around 6 p.m. (0900 GMT) on Tuesday, blowing slowly from the northeast then later from east, the official said.

An east wind could blow any radioactivity inland, though the direction is rarely constant at such a speed.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), is about 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo on the country’s northeast coast.

The nuclear plant suffered a second explosion on Monday in addition to falling water levels in another of its reactors as the operator struggled to prevent reactors from overheating.

Radiation has been detected outside the plant but at very low levels. The levels would need to rise about a thousand times before real fears of contamination were justified, experts say.

The area is expected to have either rain or snow late on Tuesday, the official said. A spokesman at Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told Reuters that rain or snow would not contain radioactivity since there had been no strong leak.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Nick Macfie

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