[LINK] Radiation

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Tue Mar 15 14:01:17 AEDT 2011

Without wishing to be alarmist .. this does not sound good ..

Call for calm as nuke crisis escalates

Updated 20 minutes ago 

Japan's prime minister has called for calm after the country's nuclear 
emergency took a dramatic turn for the worse this morning.

Radiation levels at the plant spiked to health-threatening levels after 
a "huge" explosion hit the Fukushima plant's overheated No. 2 reactor and 
authorities said they were assuming the reactor container had been 

Reactors 1, 2 and 3 have now all experienced explosions and this morning 
authorities confirmed the inactive No. 4 reactor, which contains spent 
fuel rods, had caught fire.

Prime minister Naoto Kan told all residents within 20 kilometres of the 
plant to evacuate and told everyone between 20km and 30km away to stay 

The prevailing winds were blowing from the plant in the direction of 
Tokyo, where the French embassy warned French nationals to stay indoors 
but said there was no need for panic. The embassy said the fallout from 
the plant could reach Tokyo in 10 hours.

Earlier a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) spokesman said there had been 
a "huge explosion" at the No. 2 reactor, where officials had said fuel 
rods were exposed and at risk of meltdown.

The government also reported apparent damage to part of the container 
shielding the same reactor at Fukushima, 250 kilometres north-east of 
Tokyo, although it was unclear whether this resulted from the blast.

Chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano told reporters "damage appears on the 
suppression pool" - the bottom part of the container that contains water 
used to cool the reactor and control air pressure inside.

A spokesman for the country's nuclear safety agency said TEPCO had told 
it that radiation levels in Ibaraki, between Fukushima and Tokyo, had 

"The level does not pose heath risks," the spokesman said, without giving 
immediate details.

TEPCO said staff were being moved to a "safer area" but said workers who 
were pumping water to cool the reactor would remain.

Jiji news agency said this morning's explosion had damaged the roof above 
the No. 2 reactor and said steam was rising from the complex.

Two explosions rocked the Fukushima plant's No. 1 and No. 3 reactors on 
Saturday and Monday.

Japan has already asked the UN atomic watchdog to send a team of experts 
to help stave off a nuclear emergency following the massive quake and 

The wind over the Fukushima plant will blow inland from the north-east 
and later from the east today, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The direction of the wind is a key factor in judging possible damage to 
the environment from any radiation leaks.


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