“Japan flirts with disaster after the fuel rods in the Fukushima No. 1 power station’s No. 2 reactor are fully exposed by workers who let a cooling pump run out of gas.” (JT) Oh, sorry, forgot?! All of this crap is really beyond belief. I keep seeing stories like this. The other day it was something about the explosion which happened because a vent door was left closed “FOR SOME REASON.” They used those words! Really!!?!? What exactly is going on if, despite the apparent cover-ups and downright lies, these things happen for some reason. Serious anger here. Really?!?! They try to cool the thing with seawater, but the seawater reservoir just all of a sudden, unexpectedly ran dry too. So, there is some problem finding a source for seawater? Oh. My. God.
Meanwhile (JT), “Train runs cut, store shelves empty, gas pumps dry as residents prepare for darkness” … and what a bleak darkness it is.
Another explosion this morning spewed a large amount of radioactive material into the air. The actual vessel containing the core has been exposed. NYT The minister says “we are now talking about levels that are harmful to human health but we ask you to embrace this information calmly.”
Radiation around the reactor is now equal to three years ordinary exposure every hour. The winds have shifted and a thermal plume is expected to impact Tokyo by this evening. As of now (14:45 Tuesday), radiation levels in Tokyo are 22 times above normal. It is said that “this level will not immediately affect health.”
It is recommended that all people outside return indoors immediately unless absolutely necessary – and then use a mask. When returning brush off clothes and leave them outside. Do not drink tap water or have any food that has been outside (though food and water seem to be unavailable in my neighborhood shops). Close and tape all windows and turn off any heating or other ventilation system. Limit skin exposure after washing with soap and water.
Rain is expected shortly and any contact should be avoided due to radioactive contamination. The same is true for the snowfall forecast for tonight and tomorrow.
Have a look at a multilayer interactive map, and further information for foreigners in Japan.
culled from Kyodo news, CNN, and Al Jazeera:
Fukushima has been hit by another explosion. Saturday’s blast was at No.1 reactor – this morning’s was at No.3 reactor. It injured 11 people.
Fukushima reactor three “highly likely facing meltdown” at this time although the “worst scenario unlikely to be like Chernobyl,” say government officials.
Fuel rods at the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are now fully exposed; “melting feared.”
Thousand body tides, thousands missing; Over 550,000 people are spread amongst 2,500 emergency shelters. Millions face the fourth night without food, water, or heat.
The US fleet has been moved a safer distance from the coast after detecting elevated radiation levels on planes and personnel.
Meanwhile, France has asked its citizens to leave Japan immediately.
Japan’s cabinet secretary appeals for calm.