New Explosion At Quake Damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
March 13, 2011: Radio New Zealand Editors / Radio New Zealand – March 14, 2011
BREAKING NEWS: A new explosion has now been confirmed at Fukushima reactor No. 3… – SJH
There’s been a new explosion at Japan’s quake-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The BBC reports smoke is coming from the No. 3 reactor after the explosion, which it says is believed to have been a hydrogen explosion. It is not known if it has affected the reactor.
Earlier, a rise in the radiation level was reported at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, 240 km north of Tokyo plant, where technicians are working to prevent fuel rods in reactors overheating.
A large explosion on Saturday blew apart a building housing one of the plant’s reactors, a 40-year-old unit. Radiation levels around the plant rose to 751.2 microsievert per hour on Monday, a Tokyo Electric Power Co spokesperson said, slightly more than the level a person would be exposed to for a stomach X-ray.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano earlier said there might have been a partial meltdown of fuel rods at that reactor and engineers were pumping in seawater to try to prevent the same happening at a second reactor. An exclusion zone around the entire complex was extended to a 20km radius on Sunday. Some 200,000 people have been moved from the area.
At Tokai No. 2 nuclear power station in Ibaraki prefecture, the cooling system is working though some generators used for cooling are out of order, the Japan Atomic Power company says.
At Onagawa nuclear plant, near the city of Sendai, where high radioactivity levels had been reported, Japanese authorities said levels at the site boundary had returned to normal and that there had been no emission of radiation from the plant itself.
If reactors overheat and fail, the containers that house the core could melt or explode, releasing radioactive material into the atmosphere.
Japan Crisis ‘Greatest Since WWII’
Japan’s prime minister Naoto Kan says his country is facing its greatest hardships since World War II as it struggles with the nuclear emergency and the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami.
In a televised statement, Mr Kan called on people to pull together, saying Japan could overcome the crisis. He says the situation at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant remains grave.
A UN official says health risks remain low and winds are likely to carry any contamination out to the Pacific without threatening other nations.
A Japanese official says 22 people have been confirmed to have suffered radiation contamination and up to 190 may have been exposed. Workers in protective clothing used handheld scanners to check people arriving at evacuation centres.
About a third of Japan’s energy is from nuclear power, the BBC reports. In total, 11 of the approximately 50 nuclear reactors in Japan were shut down following the earthquake.
New Explosion At Fukushima Reactor No. 3
Japan Nuclear Reactors In Meltdown?
The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: According to this video report, the Fukushima reactor No. 3 was in no danger of meltdown. Yet, as with reactor No. 1, it too has exploded, indicating another meltdown… – SJH
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