Fukushima reactor shell breached: French watchdog agency

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The concrete vessel around the No. 2 reactor at Japan's Fukushima plant, designed to contain radioactive debris, is "no longer sealed," Andre-Claude Lacoste, head of France's Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), said on Tuesday.

Lacoste was speaking at a press conference in which he also said the accident at Fukushima now rated six on a seven-point international scale of gravity, placing it second to Chernobyl as the world's worst nuclear disaster.

The ASN is being briefed by the Japanese authorities and by a specialist from France's Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), according to the agency.

© 2011 AFP

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