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Prime Minister: Japan On 'Maximum Alert' Over Nuclear Crisis

Japaese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the situation "continues to be unpredictable."
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan says his government remains in a "state of maximum alert" over the crisis at the earthquake- and tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant.

Speaking to a parliament committee, Kan said today that the situation at the plant "continues to be unpredictable" and that the government "will tackle the problem while in a state of maximum alert."

Efforts to restart the cooling system at the six-reactor Fukushima Daiichi plant continue to be disrupted by leaks of radioactive materials into the air, water, and sea around the plant.

On March 28, officials said plutonium had been detected in soil at the facility.

The plant suffered severe damage in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan, leaving at least 11,000 dead and more than 16,000 others missing.

compiled from agency reports