Fukushima tsunami wave reached 14 metres in height

Tokyo: Utility Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), operator of the quake and tsunami affected Fukushima nuclear park, has said the height of a tsunami wave that knocked out key utilities at the Fukushima plant may have reached 14 metres, much higher than the 5.7 meters factored into the design of the complex.

Fukushima nuclear park. File photoMeanwhile, work to restore power and key cooling functions at quake and tsunami-affected reactors at the Fukushima nuclear park was held up Monday as smoke rose from the buildings housing the No 2 and No 3 reactors, the plant operator said.

The utility, TEPCO, as well as the government's nuclear safety agency said operations aimed at reviving power systems and spraying massive coolant water onto overheating spent nuclear fuel pools will likely resume Tuesday after gauging the situation at the site.

TEPCO said it briefly evacuated workers from the site after grey and black smoke was seen at No 3 reactor building around 3:55 pm above a pool storing spent nuclear fuel. There was no evidence of a blast.

Though the smoke stopped after 6 pm, TEPCO found that white smoke had begun rising through a crack in the roof of the building that houses the No 2 reactor at around 6:20 pm. Radiation levels at the plant briefly increased after white smoke was detected from the No 2 reactor, but later fell.

Fire fighters and the Japan's army will resume water-dousing operations Tuesday morning, the agency said. Three trucks with a concrete squeeze pump and a 50-meter arm provided by private firms will join the mission to pour water from a higher point.