As if developments over the past few days at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were not severe enough, the crisis is worsening. The third reactor, Unit 3, at the Japanese plant is thought to have ruptured followed by the release of radioactive steam.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the steam was actually coming from the number 3 reactor, where there is a strong belief that the fuel rods stored inside the reactor have already been damaged.
Radiation levels around the compound reached such dangerous levels on Tuesday that all workers, perhaps now as many as 750 were evacuated.
Information coming from Japanese officials as well as the operator,Tokyo Electric Power, are confusing and often contradict one another. It was reported earlier that the containment vessel around Unit 2 had cracked, but government officials described the damage as “low.”
Pictures on national television appeared to show helicopters carrying water over the plant in a move to dump water, and lower temperatures around spent fuel rods, but now we are learning that the Japanese military shelved that idea.
Emperor Akihito spoke publicly for the first time since last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami saying he is “deeply worried” about the nuclear crisis.
The United States military switched up plans for some warships headed for Northeastern Japan after radiation levels increased, the ships were diverted to the west coast.
Some countries such as France is telling its citizens to head for safer ground or leave the country. The U.S. is telling Americans to follow the advice of Japanese officials.
Authorities have told people living within 18 miles of Fukushima to stay indoors and close all windows.
(For an even deeper understanding of the nuclear crisis click on Rock The Capital.)
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