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Radioactive elements found at crippled Japanese plant

Questions arise about nuclear facility’s status

By Hiroko Tabuchi
New York Times / November 3, 2011

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Nuclear workers at the crippled Fukushima power plant raced to inject boric acid into the plant’s No. 2 reactor early yesterday after telltale radioactive elements were detected there, and the plant’s owner admitted for the first time that fuel deep inside three stricken plants was probably continuing to experience bursts of fission. The unexpected bursts - something akin to flare-ups after a major fire - are extremely unlikely to presage a large-scale nuclear reaction with the resulting large-scale production of heat and radiation.

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