After stopping the leak of highly radioactive water from a crippled nuclear plant north of Tokyo, Japanese authorities have begun injecting nitrogen into part of the facility in order to prevent a hydrogen explosion.

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant began pumping nitrogen gas into the area surrounding the No. 1 reactor around 1:30 am (1630 GMT) on Thursday, said Makoto Watanabe, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

The nitrogen injection was the latest in a series of efforts to prevent another nuclear catastrophe in Japan, which has already been hit by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a devastating tsunami on March 11 that left tens of thousands dead and severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi, causing a radioactive leak that forced the government to evacuate citizens 20 kilometers away from the plant.

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