Pin It
Mar
12

From The Austrailian News

THE operator of a quake-hit Japanese nuclear plant says the cooling system of another reactor is not working and there’s a risk of a new explosion.

The warning came after an earlier blast at the Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant triggered fears of a meltdown after a massive earthquake and tsunami left more than 1,000 dead and at least 10,000 unaccounted for.

Radiation leaked from the plant, but the government moved to calm fears of a meltdown, saying the blast did not rupture the container surrounding the reactor and that radiation levels had fallen afterwards.

However a spokesman for the Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said today: “All the functions to keep cooling water levels in No 3 reactor have failed at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

“As of 5.30am (7.30am AEDT), water injection stopped and inside pressure is rising slightly,” he said, adding the operator filed an emergency report on the plant’s condition with the government.

The quake, one of the biggest ever recorded, unleashed a terrifying tsunami that engulfed towns and cities on Japan’s northeastern coast, destroying everything in its path.

In the small port town of Minamisanriku alone, some 10,000 people are unaccounted for – more than half the population – public broadcaster NHK reported.

Friday’s earthquake and tsunami trigggered an explosion that blew off the roof and walls of the structure around the No 1 reactor at the Fukushima No 1 atomic plant, about 250km northeast of Tokyo.

Japan’s nuclear safety agency rated the accident at four on the international scale of 0 to 7. The 1979 Three Mile Island accident in the United States was rated five while the 1986 Chernobyl disaster was a seven.

Work to bring the situation under control is ongoing to prevent cooling liquid from evaporating and exposing the fuel rods to the air, which could trigger a major radiation leak.

“We have decided to douse the (reactor) container with sea water in order to reduce risks as quickly as possible,” Mr Kan’s top spokesman Yukio Edano told reporters.

Kyodo and Jiji reported before the explosion that the plant “may be experiencing nuclear meltdown”, while NHK quoted the safety agency as saying metal tubes that contain uranium fuel may have melted.

An evacuation order for tens of thousands of residents was expanded to 20km around the Fukushima plant, and thousands more were shifted from another damaged plant, Fukushima No 2.

Media reports said three residents – bedridden patients evacuated from a hospital near the plant – had been found to be exposed to radiation after spending a long time outdoors awaiting rescue.

The number of people exposed to radiation was expected to climb to at least 90, the Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun newspapers said.

Takashi Fujimoto, vice president of nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., apologised for the accident, telling reporters: “We gave people a lot of trouble.”

Ron Chesser, director of the Centre for Environmental Radiation Studies at Texas Tech University, said it was critical to cool the reactor core to avoid a meltdown that would result in “a large release of radiation”.

“Reactors are not like your car that you can turn off and walk away. They’re going to continue generating a great amount of heat until the core is disassembled,” he told the US-based ScienceDaily website.

Meanwhile, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington said on Saturday it has sent two experts to Japan.

“We have some of the most expert people in this field in the world working for the NRC and we stand ready to assist in any way possible,” commission chairman Gregory Jaczko said in a statement announcing the deployment.

 

 

The raging tsunami picked up shipping containers, cars and the debris of shattered homes. It crashed through the streets of Sendai and across open fields, forming a mud slick that covered vast tracts of land.

“There are so many people who lost their lives,” an elderly man told television reporters before breaking down in tears. “I have no words to say.”

Police reportedly said between 200 and 300 bodies had been found in the city of Sendai. Up to 400 bodies were recovered in Rikuzentakata, a coastal town of some 23,000 people, NHK quoted the military as saying.

The premier’s spokesman said at least 1,000 people were believed to have lost their lives. Police said more than 215,000 people were huddled in emergency shelters.

“What used to be residential areas were mostly swept away in many coastal areas and fires are still blazing there,” Mr Kan said after surveying the damage by helicopter.

In the shattered town of Minamisoma, 34-year-old housewife Sayori Suzuki recalled the utter horror of the moment the quake hit, shaking her home violently and washing away the house of a relative.

“It was a tremor like I’ve never experienced before,” she said.

“Another relative said he was fleeing in a car but watched in the rear-view mirror as the waves were catching up with him from behind. He escaped very narrowly.”

“My brother works at the Fukushima No.2 nuclear power plant,” Ms Suzuki added. “He worked all through the night. I’m so worried about him because of the risk of radiation exposure.”

Some 50,000 military and other rescue personnel were spearheading a Herculean rescue and recovery effort with hundreds of ships, aircraft and vehicles headed to the Pacific coast area.

The towering wave set off alerts across the Pacific, sparking evacuations in Hawaii and on the US West Coast. Tsunami waves destroyed some coastal buildings in Peru but otherwise had little effect on Latin America.

The Bank of Japan said it would do its “utmost” to ensure the stability of financial markets after the quake brought huge disruption to key industries, raising short-term concerns for the nation’s struggling economy.

In quake-hit areas, 5.6 million households had no power and more than one million households were without water. Telecommunications networks were also hit.

In a rare piece of good news, a ship that was earlier reported missing was found swept out to sea and all 81 people aboard were airlifted to safety.

Leading international offers of help, which saw foreign rescue teams begin arriving in Japan last night, President Barack Obama mobilised the US military to provide emergency aid after what he called a “simply heartbreaking” disaster.

The United States, which has nearly 50,000 military personnel in Japan, ordered a flotilla including two aircraft carriers and support ships to the region to provide aid.

The quake hit at 2:46 pm local time and lasted about two minutes, making buildings sway in greater Tokyo, the world’s largest urban area and home to some 30 million people.

More than a day after the first massive quake struck just under 400 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, aftershocks were still rattling the region, including a strong 6.8 magnitude tremor on Saturday.

Japan sits on the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” and Tokyo is in one of its most dangerous areas, where three continental plates are slowly grinding against each other, building up enormous seismic pressure.

The government has long warned of the likelihood that a devastating magnitude eight quake would strike within the next 30 years in the Kanto plains, home to Tokyo’s vast urban sprawl.

Comments

  1. radiation levels now at 80x higher than normal in tokyo -
    http://live.reuters.com/Event/Japan_earthquake2?Page=72
    and that’s from reuters!
    wanna bet it’s more like 160?
    my mind is still blown. i’m still trying to find the best place to donate for this – not doing red cross or some other shitty organization that will use all the money to hand of BIBLES instead of blankets and nutritious food.

  2. RJ making posts on Feb. 20 and March 2.
    Not very dead, are you?
    FROM RW: IT’S HIS SISTER!!! RJ WAS AT TIMES INTERESTING AND AT TIMES ANNOYING, BUT I DO NOT THINK HE WOULD HAVE OD’D JUST FOR EFFECT. I LIKED HIM AND HIS WRITING.

  3. nice connection making, G!

  4. Tippy -Lite says:

    i read somewhere that over 1 million fish floated up dead before the quake hit.
    sounds like our satanic buddies at HAARP/DARPA

  5. Tearful Angel says:

    I’m sorry,…I don’t understand your comment,… of what were you suspicious?
    Sally

  6. wow guys
    the plant in tokyo that exploded and is on the verge of a full meltdown uses a controversial fuel called MOX that apparently could make the disaster WORSE than chernobyl should shit really hit the fan. this is from PRIOR to the earthquake:
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b…0100823a7.html
    FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Saturday loaded a nuclear reactor in Fukushima Prefecture with MOX, a controversial fuel made with reprocessed plutonium and uranium oxides, as it prepares to become the leading power utility’s first facility to go pluthermal.
    Mixing it up: A MOX fuel rod on Saturday is loaded into a nuclear reactor in Fukushima Prefecture. KYODO PHOTO
    The No. 3 reactor at Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 plant will be the nation’s third pluthermal facility, but only the first to be refurbished since the plant was built 34 years ago.
    Tokyo Electric plans to activate the reactor on Sept. 18 and let it start generating electricity on Sept. 23. (2010)
    http://archive.greenpeace.org/nuclea…toshipsumm.pdf
    Green peace information about Mox going to Japan and their very strong concerns about it

  7. meltdown likely inevitable – from today march 14:
    Meltdown alert at Japan reactor
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12733393

  8. this just in:
    http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/03/77870.html
    Fukushima No. 2 reactor’s fuel rods fully exposed, melting feared.
    TOKYO, March 14, Kyodo
    Fuel rods at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant’s No. 2 reactor were fully exposed at one point after its cooling functions failed, the plant operator said Monday, indicating the critical situation of the reactor’s core beginning to melt due to overheating.
    The rods were exposed as a fire pump to pour seawater into the reactor to cool it down ran out of fuel, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The firm had reported the loss of cooling functions as an emergency to the government.
    TEPCO said water levels later recovered to cover 30 centimeters in the lower parts of the fuel rods.
    The seawater injection operation started at 4:34 p.m., but water levels in the No. 2 reactor have since fallen sharply with only one out of five fire pumps working. The other four were feared to have been damaged by a blast that occurred in the morning at the nearby No. 3 reactor.
    The utility firm said a hydrogen explosion at the nearby No. 3 reactor that occurred Monday morning may have caused a glitch in the cooling system of the No. 2 reactor.
    Similar cooling down efforts have been taken at the plant’s No. 1 and No. 3 reactors and explosions occurred at both reactors in the process, blowing away the roofs and walls of the buildings that house the reactors.
    It is feared that the No. 2 reactor will follow the same path. To prevent a possible hydrogen explosion at the No. 2 reactor, TEPCO said it will look into opening a hole in the wall of the building that houses the reactor to release hydrogen.
    The company has also begun work to depressurize the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor by releasing radioactive steam, the government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. Such a step is necessary to prevent the vessel from sustaining damage and losing its critical containment function.
    With only one fire pump working, TEPCO is placing priority on injecting water into the No. 2 reactor, although both the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors still need coolant water injections, according to the agency.
    The blast earlier in the day injured 11 people but the reactor’s containment vessel was not damaged, with the government dismissing the possibility of a large amount of radioactive material being dispersed, as radiation levels did not jump after the explosion.
    TEPCO said seven workers at the site and four members of the Self-Defense Forces were injured. Of the 11, two were found to have been exposed to radiation and are receiving treatment.
    Since the magnitude 9.0 quake hit northeastern Japan last Friday, some reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant have lost their cooling functions, leading to brief rises in radiation levels.
    As a result, the cores of the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors have partially melted.
    The government ordered residents within a 20-kilometer radius of the plant to evacuate Saturday in the wake of the initial blast at the plant’s No. 1 reactor. A total of 483 people are still attempting to leave the area, according to the nuclear agency.
    The agency ruled out the possibility of broadening the area subject to the evacuation order for now.

  9. if you speak to the japanese, the bulk of them say they know the government is downplaying the severity of this, and they’re pissed off!
    i have no idea if japan was haarped, but it’s definitely a possibility, even if it was employed to simply EXACERBATE an already inevitable quake, which i think is most likely.
    a girl here put together some help regarding radiation poisoning – lots of useful, natural tips here:
    http://thetruthergirls.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/radiation-poisoning-help/

  10. Tearful Angel says:

    My brother RJ lived in this area of Japan for almost 5 years,….married his first wife there,….honeymooned in Amori prefecture,…a place called Lake Towada…..he loved his experience in Japan, and always spoke of the beauty and pride of the Japanese people,…..had he lived, he would have wanted to help,…..
    Sadly,
    Sally McLarty
    btw……though not my number one priority this past month,…I wanted all of the RW readers to know that I’ve appeciated their comments to me about my brother RJ O’Guillory,…as well as his writings.
    I continue to read through his work, and we are amazed by this unknown aspect of his writing. We all knew he was preparing a memoir, Webster Groves,…but we were unaware of his leap into poetry,…so, in spite of some of the harsh dialogue I’ve reviewed from previous posts, RJ really loved the interaction with most of the RW readers..

  11. and here’s weather.com’s approximate timeline regarding radiation travel: http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/46940/winds-at-japan-power-plants-sh-1.asp Wake me up i must be having a nightmare,

  12. Tippy -Lite says:

    South East is what i heard….Florida in particular.
    GULF STREAM FOLLOWS UPPER PART OF N. AMERICA & DOESN’T USUALLY STREAM BELOW MIDDLE OF CONTINENT ONCE PAST MIDWEST….

  13. Here’s a link to the CDC re: Radiation & Iodide. You can buy it over the counter, ask a pharmacist. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/pdf/ki.pdf This is a pdf file & you may download it. Best wishes to the whole planet, especially the people of Japan!

  14. Tippy -Lite says:

    Differences And Dangers Of Potassium Iodide And Iodate
    http://www.rense.com/general93/potass.htm
    Please look at Rosenne’s entry “all will be revealed” -you will see another of my posts.

  15. Tippy -Lite says:
  16. That radiation shit may be headed your way, Rosie. Plans to bring my family to Kona in May are on hold, pending how this nuclear stuff shakes out. Get some potassium iodine for your family, protects thyroid from radiation damage. Former chief editor of Japan News says government is downplaying the radiation problem. 750 Rads of radiation blowing west from Japan…who gets it? Big Island? California? Canada? Everyone? Only takes 3 days for gulf stream to bring Japan air to the West Coast…

  17. One positive course of action to take, after this catastrophe, is to look at your own personal emergency preparedness. Here is an article I found interesting:
    “Japanese Preparedness Likely Saved Thousands”
    http://www.npr.org/2011/03/13/134468071/japanese-preparedness-likely-saved-thousands?ps=cprs
    There is a little sidebar article called “Expecting to be Saved,” about American culture and preparedness. Here is a snippet:
    “The federal government has built an expectation — don’t worry, someone is going to be there to bail you out,” says Zoback, who currently sits on a National Academy of Sciences panel that studies disaster resilience. “Unfortunately, that kind of perspective actually prevents us from becoming as prepared and as self-reliant as we should be.”

  18. +1 Wise words.

  19. yes everything is a lesson in acceptance and in taking right action, and refusing wrong action. It’s about evolving. Yes, i agree that we are God.

  20. In reply to your first message, Roseanne didn’t post this. You can see from the little icon picture under the header that it was Becky who posted this—that’s one thing that kind of stuck out to me after a few days on this site. lol.

  21. *You’re… we’re all having spelling farts today.

  22. Your welcome, hon. Thank you for speaking your mind with such honesty – it’s really brave of you. I wish there were ways to privately send e-mails here because I would be interested in what you have to say when you feel that way, but I know venting on this blog isn’t always the most ideal situation every time.

  23. Thanks again. Agreeing to disagree is always good. Glad to know I’m not alone in feeling that way, either.

  24. Yes, I agree. I am an atheist and I do meditate. Also, I do volunteer in my community. I try to be a mindful consumer (there’s no escaping being a consumer on some level, it seems), I recycle, and I always use my turn signals. ;)
    While I don’t agree with the idea of karma (one of the fundamental beliefs of Buddhism), I do believe in the law of cause and effect. One could argue that they are the same, I suppose, but I’m not sure if I agree. Another mantra of Buddhism is that everything in life is temporary. This also helps me greatly. Change is stressful, and knowing that everything changes makes change less stressful. Thanks again for your response. I agree that simply talking about it helps, so I appreciate this exchange here. Have a good night.

  25. “When I am feeling more optimistic, I believe that the majority of the world’s population is a caring group of people, but nearly all of what impacts us negatively is done so by the very wealthy elite minority who are more concerned about the god they worship- money, then their fellow human beings. ”
    That’s how I feel at more optimistic times, too. Like when I was watching the Giffords memorial that night. It is okay you are atheist, I have no problem with that. I was agnostic for a while, but I returned to being a Christian (I know, GASP!), however I am not evangelical and I do not preach. I also do not think you are in a depression. It is important to think what you do. Sometimes life and the events around us are an inconvenient truth and people tend to ignore or “look on the bright side” too much in certain situations that helps make problems even worse. That said, I hope you find peace at least within yourself!

  26. Moon Shadow says:

    meditate! (sorry typo)

  27. Moon Shadow says:

    You can be an atheist and mediate! I am and do!

  28. Moon Shadow says:

    Sounds like you’re in a serious depression friend. Action, any action is the first step. Now, that means different things for different people (volunteer, put a FREE BRADLEY MANNING bumper sticker on your car, donate to a food bank or a non-profit, do something for someone without expectation of anything in return, verbally abuse (“engage in dialogue”) a mormon/catholic/evangelical…).
    Empathy should be involuntary. You’d be satan himself if you weren’t sad right now. Most of the people here seem to be of a similar mindset and the dialogue is also the beginning of a shift, but truly, you must ACT. Something, anything.
    There’s a real meditation focus here on RW which is crucial.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpdttTbA5qQ&feature=player_embedded
    That’s from the top video in RW “MEDITATION” section. Play that video and read the threads and see if it doesn’t immediately CONNECT you. I tend to agree w/ Tipi’s statements. LOVE is everything!!

  29. Thanks for your response. I appreciate your perspective on this. I agree with much of what you have written here, but feel I must be true to myself by writing that as an atheist, I don’t believe events such as the ones you mentioned are unanswered wake-up calls from God. I respect one’s choice to believe this, but I feel that this is an opportunity to make a point here. It’s not a wake-up call from god (or a god), and I think it’s important in recognizing that viewpoint because for me, it’s based on the supposition that we are not as powerful as we realize. For me, there is no waiting for some kind of benevolent intelligent force to help us. We need to help ourselves, and I agree with you that we have, in large part, failed to due that. I also wonder what it will take for our global population to realize this fact, and I share your frustration and disappointment. When I am feeling more optimistic, I believe that the majority of the world’s population is a caring group of people, but nearly all of what impacts us negatively is done so by the very wealthy elite minority who are more concerned about the god they worship- money, then their fellow human beings. What’s even more frustrating is knowing that many of these people really don’t think that they’re causing harm because they have been able to rationalize their actions somehow.
    I think that many theistic people view atheistic people as having an overall negative view of the world, but I actually see it quite opposite to that. I believe in people; the good and the bad, and I believe that good things happen all over the world, every day. Unfortunately, these people are powerless to the *real* unseen force that has control over their lives – the wealthy sociopathic elite that I mentioned.
    Thanks again for your response. It didn’t seem like a tangent to me at all. :)

  30. Moon Shadow says:
  31. While I feel sad about this, the only time I really feel physically ill and distraught is when I see the way Americans are living their lives. Some days it just hits me like a ton of bricks. It’s a selfish culture with reckless materialism that ruins lives, yet so many are (or act oblivious). We’ve lost touch… and been pampered too much as a nation at the expense of others. After 9/11, I thought people would change, and maybe they did for a month, but most of them really didn’t. It’s worse now than ever. The current culture in the United States needs a wakeup call and I don’t know what it’s going to take. We’ve had 9/11, wars, Katrinas, Giffords’ shooting, exposed government corruption, global catastrophy. Have we went beyond being shaken up, to being scared so shitless about what’s going on now and what will that we became numb and now are in a “fuck it” spell where no one gives two shits so long as they get theirs? I just don’t understand. I really don’t. Sounds like a tangent, I know, but I think there have been wakeup calls from God that are being ignored and it’s not good.

  32. Tippy -Lite says:

    I am also very sad.
    but at this time of sadness comes exhilaration. I know the hour has come….
    and this is a most exciting time in our human existence.
    I am starting to understand my connections to all conscious life forms………
    And know that I know nothing.
    Choose also bliss when ever possible.
    And feel LOVED!!!

  33. If anyone else feels this way, please let me know that I am not alone. Thank you.

  34. Thanks for posting this, Roseanne. I found the article to be informative and well-written, unlike much of what we have here in the U.S.
    My thoughts are with those that are directly affected by this disaster, and I am also worried about you! I hope that you and yours stay safe. I don’t like admitting this, but I am going to because I doubt that I am the only one who feels this way. There have been many tragic incidents around the world in the last few years that have taken many lives, from natural disasters such as this one, to acts of terrorism. I hate to admit it, but I feel like I have become kind of numb to it all, not really caring what happens on the other side of the globe. I think part of it is because the world seems so fucked up, and this reaction is a way of coping (or not coping, as is the case here) because I am that I just can’t bare to know the details anymore. But this… this terrible tsunami and earthquake, and now, quite possibly the nuclear meltdown in Japan… well, this feels different to me. I am very worried for all, and feel such sadness for the Japanese people who have lost so much. They are a people who have endured so much in the last 65 years, due in large part to our own government. A government that had such a hard-on to want to try out its new toy, a nuclear bomb, not once, but twice, that it was willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of human and animal lives to get its climactic feeling of relief. Its so sad and depressing to learn what we are willing to do to other people, mostly because they look and talk differently from us, and because they live so far away from where we live. And now, this natural disaster feels like a bit of a repeat of those actions. I am truly depressed about all of this, and I fear that it will only get worse in the next few days and weeks. But I guess that in some kind of sick way, this feeling of despair surprises me because I was beginning to truly wonder if I was losing some of my own humanity and capability to empathize for others. I am so so sad about all of this.