"A second explosion rocked a troubled nuclear power plant Monday, blowing the roof off a containment building but not harming the reactor, Japanese nuclear officials announced on public television.
The explosion underscores the difficulties Japanese authorities are having in bringing several stricken reactors under control three days after a massive earthquake and a tsunami hit Japan’s northeast coast and shut down the electricity that runs the crucial cooling systems for reactors.
Operators fear that if they cannot establish control, despite increasingly desperate measures to do so, the reactors could experience full meltdowns, which would release catastrophic amounts of radiation.
It was unclear if radiation was released by the explosion, but a similar explosion at another reactor at the plant over the weekend did release radioactive material."
Hiroko Tabuchi And Matthew L. Wald report for the New York Times March 14, 2011.
"Water Level Near Empty at Japan Nuclear Reactor -- Owner" (Reuters)
"Third Reactor at Risk of Explosion as Huge Rescue Operation Continues" (Sydney Morning Herald)