Although a stopgap measure has apparently plugged the leak in Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, keeping more radioactive water from spilling into the Pacific, the crisis has shifted over to Reactor 1, which could be headed for a blowup. –KA

The Irish Times:

Engineers at the plant are also struggling to prevent a potentially catastrophic build-up of hydrogen gas in reactor 1. A similar problem caused a series of explosions that wrecked three of the plant’s reactors after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami knocked out its cooling systems.

The embattled utility has sparked a furious reaction by dumping more than 11,000 tonnes of toxic groundwater from the plant into the sea.

Japan’s national federation of fisheries co-operatives said they were “immeasurably angry” at Tepco and at the government for making the decision without prior consultation.

Analysts say the water is likely to contain iodine, caesium and plutonium 239, in addition to radioactive fuel fragments.

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