No sign of sustained fission in wrecked Japan reactor

Thu Nov 3, 2011 4:13am GMT

TOKYO Nov 3 (Reuters) - Radiation detected by operator of a tsunami-hit nuclear power plant in Japan was not the result of sustained nuclear fission, the utility said on Thursday.

Tokyo Electric Power on Wednesday said it discovered xenon, a byproduct of fission, in the No 2 reactor at its Fukushima Daiichi plant, and had poured in a mixture of water and boric acid, an agent that helps prevent nuclear reactions, as a precaution.

"Analysis suggests that it was not a criticality," Ai Tanaka, a spokeswoman for the company, commonly known as Tepco, said.

The nuclear facility was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March and has released radiation into the atmosphere ever since in the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Ed Lane)

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