Japan’s nuclear crisis appeared far from over as Reuters reported rising temperatures around the core of one of the reactors at Japan’s quake-crippled Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture had sparked new concern on Tuesday and more water was needed to cool it down, suggesting the battle to avert a disastrous meltdown and stop the spread of radiation was far from won. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda again postponed vehicle production restarts to Sunday (27 March), Mitsubishi is uncertain beyond Friday (25 March) and consultants Frost & Sullivan described the effect on the global auto industry as “profound”.

The news agency described the “world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years” playing out 240km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

“Technicians working inside an evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant on Japan’s northeast Pacific coast have attached power cables to all six reactors and started a pump at one of them to cool overheating nuclear fuel rods.

But Japan’s Kyodo news agency said steam appeared to be rising from reactor No. 2 and white haze was detected above reactor No. 3. There have been several blasts of steam from the reactors during the crisis, which experts say probably released a small amount of radioactive particles.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said later the smoke had turned to steam and it was deemed safe to continue work in bringing the plant under control.”

Full report here

‘QUAKE ANALYSIS: Japan losing 335k units, all OEMs affected end April

Denso resumes partial Japanese production

Toyota, Honda, extend production suspensions, MMC uncertain beyond Friday

JAMA takes “all measures required” as nuclear fears grow

COMMENT: Japan battles on as shakes continue