Steam Spotted at Fukushima Nuclear Reactor

Tokyo Electric Power says temperature is now stable but plant must be kept cool to prevent future problems

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Asahi Shimbun / Getty Images

Japan Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in protective suit at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant on Aug. 26, 2013 in Okuma, Japan.

Water vapor is once again emanating from a reactor at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the site operator said Friday.

More than two-and-a-half years after the plant’s core melted down in the wake of the devastating March 11, 2011, tsunami, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) says steam has been spotted rising from a puddle sitting atop the reactor.

TEPCO insists the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant remains stable, with nearby sensors showing no increase in levels of radiation. However, scientists have not yet explained why steam would started appearing intermittently since July.