Japanese PM says small amounts of radioactive material leaked from plant

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 12, 2011 07:10 hrs

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said that small amounts of radiation have been released from one of the reactors after visiting a quake-stricken nuclear power plant in the country's Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday.

After taking an overall view from the helicopter during his visit to other areas in northeastern parts of the country, Kan said: "I realized the huge extent of the tsunami damage."

The China Daily quoted him, as saying that Saturday is a critical day for rescue teams to find survivors, adding that the 50,000 rescue personnel deployed to the hardest-hit regions, including Japan's Self Defense Force, will do their best to rescue the troubled people.

Meanwhile, talking about the controlled release of a small amount of radioactive steam from Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in order to reduce mounting pressure that could lead to a meltdown, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the steam is not expected to cause any immediate threat to people's health.

"We are taking every possible measure to prevent disastrous developments," Edano said, adding that public should remain alert as more aftershocks are highly likely.

At least 15 aftershocks, from 5-6.8 magnitude, hit off Japan's east coast on Saturday following a massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Japan Friday afternoon. (ANI)

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