Despite alarming new radiation data presented by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the government said Thursday it has no plans to widen the evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
The international nuclear watchdog said Wednesday in Geneva it detected about 2 million becquerels of radioactive substances per sq. meter, or double the threshold at which the IAEA itself would order an evacuation, in soil samples from the village of Iitate about 40 km northwest of the nuclear power plant.
With the data, the IAEA effectively urged Japan to expand the current no-go zone of 20 km around the plant. Residents in areas 20 km to 30 km of the plant have been advised to stay indoors.
This site is really a heartwarming and vital outlet to express and understand what is going on in the lives of ordinary people in their own words. I urge you to have a look.
Thank you for the thousands of emails in support of the original translations of Japanese Twitter accounts of the March 11th quake on my Facebook note, “Japan Quake as Seen from Twitter”. Now, together with ten classmates and friends in the University of Cambridge, I have launched this blog to continue translating the voices of the Japanese people on their road to recovery.
– Jun Shiomitsu –
[From Voices from Japan]
Today in the Washington Post:
In order for the workers at Fukushima Daiichi to resume trying to cool the damaged reactors, Japan’s health and welfare minister had to waive the nation’s standard of radiation exposure, increasing the level of acceptable exposure from 100 millisieverts to 250 — five times the level allowed in the United States.
Wednesday night, the State Department announced that it would send charter flights to Japan to assist any of the about 600 American family members of its officials who wished to leave Tokyo, Nagoya and Yokohama.
Kennedy said the charter flights may also be made available to private U.S. citizens who are unable to get flights out of the country.
The National Police Agency released updated numbers Thursday morning: 5,176 people dead and 8,606 missing. But the list of casualties is expected to reach far higher.