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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan's nuclear meltdown

Japan is struggling to avert a meltdown at a nuclear power plant.

Let's go to the videotape.



And here's another one. Let's go to the videotape.



Unfortunately, efforts to resolve the reactor problems suffered a major setback on Sunday (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Japanese authorities said Sunday that efforts to restart the cooling system at one of the reactors damaged by Friday's earthquake had failed, a major setback in the struggle to contain what has become the most serious nuclear power crisis in a quarter century.

Officials said utility workers released "air containing radioactive materials" in an effort to relieve pressure inside the reactor, even as they raced to bring several other imperiled reactors under control.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said officials were acting on the assumption that a meltdown could be underway at that reactor, Fukushima Daiichi's unit 3, and that it was "highly possible" that a meltdown was underway at Fukushima Daiichi's unit 1 reactor, where an explosion destroyed a building a day earlier.

Hours before he spoke, authorities began evacuating more than 200,000 residents from a 12.5-mile radius around Fukushima Daiichi and another nuclear power complex, made preparations to distribute potassium iodide pills, and warned people in the vicinity to stay inside and cover their mouths if they ventured outdoors.

Federal safety agency officials said that as many as 160 people had been exposed to radiation from the plants. "Only the gravest danger would justify an evacuation at such a moment," said Peter Bradford, a former commissioner at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

...

The Nuclear Energy Institute said that the incident at Fukushima Daiichi had been given a rating of 4 on its 7-point International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, lower than the 5 earned by the 1979 Three Mile Island incident in Pennsylvania and the 7 earned by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

But many experts said it was too early to reach conclusions while new information was emerging.
Read the whole thing.

And finally, I have this video of the explosion at Fukushima 1 from Japanese television on Saturday. Sorry - it's in Japanese only.

Let's go to the videotape.

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1 Comments:

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Nekentros said...

It's times like these ... when nuclear plants are facing meltdown ... that I wonder why we don't hear more about this type of stuff in the news:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/shooting-for-the-sun/8268/

 

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