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The operation to stabilise the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has suffered a setback after officials said they had detected small traces of a radioactive gas that is a byproduct of nuclear fission.They are actually trying to generate electricity from the plant????
The discovery was made as a nuclear reactor in south-western Japan became the first to start generating electricity following a series of shutdowns in the wake of the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.
The operator of Fukushima Daiichi, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said it had found signs of recent nuclear fission inside the No 2 reactor, one of three at the plant that suffered core meltdown in March.
Japan's nuclear safety agency said the situation was stable and that the small amounts of radioactive material did not present a risk to public health.
The utility dismissed the possibility of a "major criticality accident", in which a sustained nuclear reaction occurs, but has not ruled out localised criticality inside the reactor.
Tepco said it had detected low densities of radioactive xenon-133 and -135 in gas samples extracted from the No 2 reactor.
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