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Radiation Concerns Grow as Nuclear Plant Problems Persist

This is a transcript of top stories presented by China's CCTV Business Channel as produced by CNBC Asia Pacific.

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There are queues for everything in Sendai these days. Here, cars are running out of petrol, which is scarce. Some stations are rationing petrol to just $45 per driver.

With electricity and water unavailable in many areas, even those whose homes weren't badly damaged are forced to seek refuge in emergency shelters.

A few stores are open in Sendai city on Monday but only for those lucky enough to be able to make it here and lucky enough to have cash. People say they're waiting for seven hours just to get in. What they really want are gas cartridges. But those are being rationed to just one per person, barely enough to cook a meal and not nearly enough to stay warm for one night.

Many families and relatives continue to be reunited, but not everyone is as lucky.

Meanwhile, there is still the grim task of burying the dead. Rescue teams are using saws to cut through the debris. All along the coastline has turned into a virtual marshland. One by one, they are bringing out the bodies that were hit when the tsunami struck.

Rescue workers are toiling tirelessly - they say as long as there is any kind of hope, they will continue looking for survivors.

Kaori Enjoji, CNBC, Sendai, Japan.

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Allison Browne reporting, CNBC.
A third explosion in as many days at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, this time at the number two reactor. That came as water levels fell dangerously low, exposing fuel rods. The government urged caution while trying to reassure at the same time.

(SOT) Yukio Edano, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Tokyo:
"Now we are talking of levels that can impact human health. React calmly, these are readings taken near the area where release of harmful substances. Further away, the value will go down."

Edano also said a fourth reactor had caught fire, releasing more radiation into the atmosphere. That's causing concern among nuclear experts.

(SOT) Richard Tanter, SNR Research Associate, Nautilus Institute:
"If there's still fuel in the reactor number four in any form, and we're seeing this kind of burning and explosion from the bottom of the reactor, it does mean the container vessel has been breached, and therefore we can expect further burning and further releases of radioactivity."

Prime Minister Naoto Kan addressed the nation as well, saying the evacuation radius has been expanded and urging those just outside those areas to remain indoors.

(SOT) Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan, Tokyo:
"We need now for everyone to move out of 20 km radius for number one plant and areas from 20-30 km from power plant, depending on what happens at the power plant."

50 brave TEPCO staff remain at the plant battling to cool the fuel rods down. It's a battle many are praying they will win. Allison Brown for CNBC.

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(SOT) Nouriel Roubini, Chairman & Co-Founder, Roubini Global Economics, Singapore:
"Well the trouble is that there is not enough transparency, and when there is not enough transparency people get nervous, markets get nervous, investors so, they're providing some information that is conflicting information. We don't know how much damage and that's going to be negative for the markets."

(SOT) Nouriel Roubini, Chairman & Co-Founder, Roubini Global Economics, Singapore:
"On one side, output is going to fall for the next few months, because there's going to be a negative effect on economic activity, destruction of capital stock impacting activity. On the other side you need the massive reconstruction effort, it's going to be very expensive from the fiscal point of view in a country where the budget deficit is 10 percent of GDP, and the public debt is already reaching 200 percent of GDP. So even the reconstruction from a fiscal point of view is going to put further pressure on the fiscal balance of the country."

(SOT) Vivek Vaidya, Vice President, Automotive, Frost & Sullivan, Singapore:
"They're still not in a position to assess whether, what is the extent of the damage. Because it's not just about the production plants that they have, but it's about their entire supply chain. Each and every component manufacturer has to be safe and secure for them to resume their production to the required levels."

(SOT) Andrew Colquhoun, Head of Asia-Pacific Sovereigns, Fitch Ratings Agency, Singapore:
"Japan's public indebtedness is already high. We were forecasting 223 percent of GDP gross public debt by the end of the year and that forecast is certain to be revised up. However Japan has fundamental sovereign credit strengths, including high incomes, diversified economy, social cohesion and high quality public institutions which lead us to think that the sovereign can as I say, get over the disaster without negative results on the ratings."

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