Northern Ireland

NI dad considers Japan exit after nuclear plant blasts

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Media captionChief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the core container at the reactor was still intact

A Londonderry father living in Japan has said he would consider leaving the country with his family after a third blast at a nuclear reactor plant.

Radiation from Japan's quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has reached harmful levels, the government says.

It follows a 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami on Friday.

Damien Okado-Gough now lives near Nagoya. His wife is due to give birth and he said the situation is worrying.

"We are only 150 miles from Tokyo and if indeed there is major radioactive materials, we simply don't know what the situation is going to be here," he said.

"It would be imprudent of me not to look at the logistics of shipping my family back home, but this is our home here in Japan.

"We have bought land and a house here and all of that and I have work commitments, but we simply don't know.

"The situation is developing, it is getting bad, but certainly I would consider moving my family back home if necessary."

The third blast at the nuclear plant appears to have damaged one of the reactors' containment vessels for the first time.

If it is breached, there are fears of more serious radioactive leaks.


Image caption A baby is tested for radiation in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima, in Japan

Officials have extended the danger zone, warning residents within 30km (18 miles) to evacuate or stay indoors.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said "there is still a very high risk of more radiation coming out".

Mr Okado-Gough said the Japanese government and nuclear industry needed to provide more information about the effects of the blasts at the nuclear plants.

He also said he had felt the earthquake on Friday, even though he was based "500 miles away from the epicentre".

"It was really quite a significant shake we had here, bigger than any I have ever felt," he added.

Mr Okado-Gough said the humanitarian situation in the north of the country was "extraordinary".

"There is 1300km of coastline which has been hit with this tsunami, many places have still not been reached," he added.

"Countless thousands of people are missing.

"It is an horrendous situation."

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