There is a high likelihood of a meltdown at all three reactors of Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yuko Edano said on Monday.
"The possibility of a meltdown is high. The probability for all [three reactors] is equal," he was quoted by Jiji Press as saying.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it cannot rule out the possibility that the No. 2 reactor of its quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 plant may have already experienced a partial meltdown as a result of damage sustained in the biggest earthquake to ever hit the region.
The company said it had tried to pump sea water into the reactor in response to the falling water level inside, but the pumps had run out of fuel.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said a reactor at a power plant in quake-hit Fukushima Prefecture had lost all its cooling capability.
An explosion hit reactor No. 3 on Monday morning, injuring 11 people. Officials said the reactor resisted the blast and played down any health risk.
The No. 1 reactor is likely to have experienced a partial meltdown on Saturday.
At least 5,000 people were killed or went missing after Friday's 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, but police warn the death toll in the Miyagi prefecture alone could exceed 10,000.
MOSCOW, March 14 (RIA Novosti)