Japan issues evacuation order to residents near nuclear power plant in NE with cooling problem

Authorities say the pressure is rising at a nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan after its cooling system failed.

TOKYO — Authorities say the pressure is rising at a nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan after its cooling system failed.

Japan’s nuclear safety agency says pressure inside the reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant has risen to 1.5 times the level considered normal. To reduce the pressure, slightly radioactive vapour may be released.

The agency said the radioactive element in the vapour would not affect the environment or human health.

Japan has issued an evacuation order to about 3,000 residents living near the plant. The government also issued a state of emergency at the power plant.

The agency says plant workers are scrambling to restore cooling water supply at the plant but there is no prospect for an immediate success.