Wind to blow from north near quake-hit Japan plant

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 21, 2011 10:26 AM

TOKYO (Reuters) - The wind over a quake-damaged nuclear complex in northeast Japan where low

levels of radiation have been released will blow from the north until around noon on Tuesday, a weather official said.

The wind speed will be around 3 to 5 meters (10 to 16 ft) per second, said the official of Japan Meteorological Agency.

The wind direction is expected to change around 6 p.m. (5 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, blowing from the northeast then later from east, the official said. An east wind could blow radioactivity inland.

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 quake-hit 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 officials 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 leakage.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Michael Watson)