The problems in Japan are a myriad, and authorities have neither helped themselves or residents with plodding responses to every crisis. It has taken government officials hours to try to quell fear and panic that is spreading through the country over tap water that is no longer healthy to drink especially for children under the age of one.
High levels of radioactive Iodine have been found in the water coming out of kitchen sinks, leading health authorities to warn against giving it to young children. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says the warning is based on “very conservative” standards. Edano asked for everyone to respond calmly.
The levels are considered too high for infants to drink, but not adults. High levels of radioactive Iodine can cause thyroid cancer.
Edano says Japan is considering importing water, and it looks as though it’s the only option as the mass distribution of some 80,000 bottles of water started on Thursday.
This is just one of the many obstacles on the horizon as work continues to bring the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant under something tantamount to control.
A couple of reactors on Thursday belched out white smoke, but that did not delay work on restoration of desperately needed electricity to cool down the reactors and spent fuel rods.
At least three workers were seriously injured after dragging an electrical cable through water that is believed to contain excessive amounts of radiation. Reports are that two men suffered severe burns, injuries to that third worker are unknown.
When asked if the men suffered from beta ray burns, Sakae Muto, with Tokyo Electric Power, said it was possible.
About two dozen people have been injured at Dai-ichi since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
And outside of Japan, concern over imported products is rising. Russia has ordered the quarantine of a Japanese vessel that was carrying a load of plywood. The ship apparently passed the nuclear power facility. Initial tests of the ship returned high levels of radiation. The ships crew of 19 has been placed under medical supervision.
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