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Fukushima Plant Could Leak Radiation for Months

Protesters oppose nuclear power generation, as radiation has been spewing from Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, leaking into the air, ground and sea, Tokyo, Japan, April 3, 2011

Government officials in Japan say it could take months for radiation leaks to be brought under control at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant continues to spew radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean and government officials are saying the crisis at the stricken plant could last for months to come.

On Sunday workers were preparing to attempt to seal a hole in a maintenance pit that is thought to be allowing radioactive water from inside the plant to escape to the sea.

The hole, discovered a day earlier, is around 20 centimeters in length and the Tokyo Electric Power company says it will try and seal it with a mixture of sawdust, shredded newspaper and a plastic that is supposed to expand as it sets.

An aerial view of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan
An aerial view of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

News that the crisis might go on for months was delivered by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a news conference.

Edano says he believes several months is a reasonable amount of time to expect a solution. He said the government is also exploring options to shorten this period.

Also on Sunday, Tokyo Electric Power said it had found the bodies of two plant workers missing since the massive tsunami hit the plant on March 11.

The two were found in the basement of a reactor turbine building at the plant. They had died of multiple injuries.

Japan's nuclear crisis could have an impact on ongoing UN climate talks. The top climate negotiator for the European Union, Artur Runge Metzger, says the crisis has already put a damper on nuclear energy. Listen to Ira Mellman's report.