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11:29 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Japanese authorities impose no-fly zone above blast-hit nuke plant

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The Japanese Transport Ministry declared a no-fly zone within the range of 30 km from the blast-hit Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant, the Kyodo news agency said on Tuesday.

The Japanese Transport Ministry declared a no-fly zone within the range of 30 km from the blast-hit Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant, the Kyodo news agency said on Tuesday.

The ban does not include planes and helicopters involved in rescue efforts and delivering aid to quake-hit areas.

Fears of a large-scale nuclear disaster remain high in Japan as the country continues relief operations following a devastating earthquake and tsunami that have killed nearly 6,000 people and left thousands missing.

Cooling systems of the Fukushima plant failed following the earthquake, resulting in blasts in units one and three on Monday. Early on Tuesday, the 4th reactor was hit by a blast, which resulted in leak of radioactive isotopes.

Reuters said, citing the International Atomic Energy Agency, that a spent fuel storage pond was on fire and radiation leaked "directly" into the atmosphere. Dose rates of up to 400 millisievert per hour have been recorded in the area.

TOKYO, March 15 (RIA Novosti)