Radiation leaks said to recede after blast at Japan nuclear plant

TOKYO — An explosion at a nuclear power plant in northern Japan on Saturday blew the roof off one building and destroyed the exterior walls of a crippled reactor, but officials said radiation leaks from the plant were receding and that a major meltdown was not imminent.

Japanese television showed a cloud of white-gray smoke from the explosion billowing up from a stricken reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Saturday afternoon, and officials said the threat of ongoing radiation leaks prompted them to expand the evacuation area around the facility to a 12-mile radius.

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