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March 24, 2017 19:17

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15:36 2 February 2017

2-meter hole found on grating beneath Fukushima Daiichi reactor

TOKYO, Feb. 2, Kyodo

A hole measuring 2 meters in diameter has been found on a metal grating beneath the No. 2 reactor's pressure vessel at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, an image analysis by the plant operator showed Thursday.

The hole may have been caused by nuclear fuel that penetrated the reactor vessel as it overheated and melted due to the loss of reactor cooling functions after a powerful earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, that hit Japan's northeast.

The analysis follows Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s discovery Monday of a black mass deposited on the same grating directly beneath the reactor vessel, possibly melted fuel from the reactor, which suffered a meltdown along with two other reactors.

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