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At least eleven people were injured in a second explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant in north-eastern Japan on Monday, NHK TV said.
The build-up of hydrogen caused reactor no. 3 to explode at around 02:00 GMT but the government's top spokesman, Yukio Edano, said its core was still intact. He said there was a "low possibility" of a rise in radiation levels near the damaged plant.
A blast occurred in the plant's reactor no. 1 on Saturday.
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., told the TV station that the cooling system at reactor no. 2 has failed.
Seawater is still being pumped into the reactors in an attempt to cool them, officials say.
The plant's cooling system was knocked out by a powerful earthquake and tsunami on Friday that is believed to have left at least 10,000 people dead in north-east Japan.
Officials in Russia's Far East say the new blast has not caused a significant rise in radiation levels in the region.
MOSCOW, March 14 (RIA Novosti)
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.