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A massive earthquake measuring 8.9/9.0 on the Richter scale hit the Pacific Ocean's nearby north-eastern Japan at around 2:46pm on March 11, with an attendant tsunami, causing substantial damage to life and property, and bringing most parts of Fukushima into blackout for several days.
The most worrying thing about the quake is not about the thousands of lost lives and a city buried in mud, but about a grave threat posed by a potential nuclear meltdown and its associated spread of radiation way beyond the boundaries of Japan. According to officials the quake-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has reached harmful levels, causing Japanese officials to extend the danger zone, warning residents within 30 kilometres to evacuate.
Industry experts say explosions at the three reactors in Japan will seriously affect what many call a nuclear renaissance, a growing shift towards nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels. The World Nuclear Association, which promotes nuclear power and related industries around the world, 155 new nuclear reactors are planned or are under construction -- most of them in Asia.