Skip to comments.Japan Nuclear Crisis Update (7:00 EDT - March 15, 2011)
Posted on 03/15/2011 4:54:44 AM PDT by Zakeet
A blast, the third in the past two days, ripped through the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant in northeastern Japan, escalating concerns about a possible nuclear disaster in the country devastated by a powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
World news agencies reported earlier that a spent fuel storage pond was on fire and radiation leaked "directly" into the atmosphere. The Japanese Transport Ministry declared a no-fly zone within the range of 30 km from the blast-hit station "because of detected radiation after the explosions."
CNN said that radiation levels measured at the troubled plant's front gate dropped to 596.4 microsieverts per hour at 06:30 GMT on Tuesday, with the highest reading of 11,930 microsieverts per hour registered at 0:00 GMT.
Temperatures have also been rising slightly in units Five and Six, raising concerns that more reactors may overheat.
Third blast reported
A fire was extinguished on Tuesday at the 4th reactor of Japan's quake-hit Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, Kyodo news agency reported early on Tuesday. The agency also reported that the 4th reactor was also hit by a blast, caused by the build-up of hydrogen.
Reuters later said that a spent fuel storage pond was on fire and radiation leaked "directly" into the atmosphere.
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan urged all people residing within 20 kilometers (13 miles) of the nuclear power plant to immediately leave the zone due to increased radiation levels.
He also advised those living more than 20-30 km (13-17 miles) from the NPP to stay in their houses, to shut their windows and doors and not turn on air-conditioning or heating systems.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano confirmed the blast at the 4th reactor and added that the radiation level near the 3rd reactor of the plant is very high and poses danger to health.
The French Embassy in Japan said earlier in a statement on its website that the radiation leak is likely to reach the country's capital, Tokyo, in 10 hours with the current speed of the wind, but later withdrew its statement only advising French citizens to remain in their houses and shut all their doors and windows firmly.
Radiation in Russia 'normal'
Radiation levels in the air around the damaged nuclear power plant rose after the explosion at the 2nd reactor at around 6:10 local time (22:10 GMT Monday).
Reuters reported, citing the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., that the radiation levels had risen fourfold at the reactor. The agency added that the blast damaged the roof and steam was seen rising from the nuclear complex.
Monitoring revealed no excessive radiation levels in Russia's Far East, a spokesman for the office of the presidential envoy in the Far East said on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the local emergencies service dismissed media reports of growing radiation levels in the Far Eastern Primorye Territory. He said exposure rates in the region stood at 12 micro-roentgens per hour on Tuesday. Exposure rates of up to 30 micro-roentgens per hour are considered "natural."
"We have enough resources and equipment to tackle possible radiation pollution in the federal district. But there is no threat to the population at the moment," he added.
Stock indices plummet
The nuclear accident reports sent Japanese stock indices down 9.5-10.5% at the end of a trading day on Tuesday, their lowest since the 2008 international financial crisis, exchange data showed.
Prayers up for those poor people
Yes pray for the Japanese people. It looks like all hell is breaking out at this nuke plant and it also looks like nuclear energy is finished as an alternative. The Japanese are world class engineers if they can not stop a nuclear disaster unlikely anyone could. Nuke energy is going to be a very hard sell after this.
“The Japanese are world class engineers if they can not stop a nuclear disaster unlikely anyone could.”
The Japanese are world class copiers of western technology if they can not stop a nuclear disaster it’s because they are lacking world class engineers.
Not to be too hard on them but they haven’t been the innovators that Americans are (or at least used to be).
The Japanese reactors were made by GE.