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IAEA chief visits crippled Japan nuke plant

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[July 25, 2011]  TOKYO (AP) -- The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says Japan's tsunami-hit nuclear plant is steadily making progress to contain damage from the crisis.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said he is optimistic that workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant could bring the radiation leaking reactors under control as expected under Japan's "Road Map."

Amano's visit to the plant Monday was his first since the crisis following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Japanese officials said last week the reactors have somewhat stabilized and they plan to bring them to a cold shutdown within six month as planned.

Also Monday, Japanese lawmakers approved nearly 2 trillion yen ($25.5 billion) in extra funds to pay for reconstruction from the disasters.


AP's earlier story is below.


TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese lawmakers have approved nearly 2 trillion yen ($25.5 billion) in extra funds to pay for reconstruction from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear crisis that followed.

About half of Monday's newly approved budget will go toward temporary housing, health checks and other support projects for residents affected by the nuclear crisis.

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About 80,000 residents had to evacuate their homes due to radiation threats from the tsunami-hit Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The quake and tsunami also left 23,000 others dead or missing across wide swaths of Japan's northeast coastline.

Japan in May approved a 4 billion yen supplementary budget for quake and tsunami reconstruction.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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