NUKE PLANT: 20,000 Evacuated, Government Holds Emergency Meeting, Radiation 1000X Normal
Joe Weisenthal | Mar. 11, 2011, 5:08 PM | 141,987 | 199
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Original post: Ominous flash from Kyodo Wire:
The operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant reported an abnormality Friday following a powerful earthquake which hit a wide area in northeastern Japan including Fukushima Prefecture, the industry ministry said.
The system to cool reactor cores in case of emergency stopped at the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors of the plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., it said.
There are reports that the Japanese PM will declare a nuclear emergency.
Update: There's no evidence of any radioactive leakage, but officials have confirmed that the cooling process for the nuclear plant has not yet gone according to plan.
Update 2: Japan has declared a nuclear emergency.
Update 3: 2000 residents near the Fukushima Nuclear Plant have been urged to evacuate.
Update 4: According to reports, Japanese jets have been ordered to fly over the Fukushima Nuclear plant
Update 5: According to Reuters, a Dam has broken in the same region as the at-risk nuclear power plant.
Update 6: The owner of the plant, TEPCO, says the reactor pressure is rising, and there are risks of a radiation leak, according to Reuters.
Update 7: Now the trade minister says a leak is possible.
Update 8: Word is, Japanese authorities will release a small amount of radioactive vapor into the air to ease pressure.
Update 9: Japan just expanded the evacuation range from 3 KM to 9 KM, says Reuters.
Update: 4:29 PM ET: Anti-nuclear expert Kevin Kamp explains the nightmare scenario in Fukushma, via Forbes and the Institute for Public Accuracy:
"The electrical grid is down. The emergency diesel generators have been damaged. The multi-reactor Fukushima atomic power plant is now relying on battery power, which will only last around eight hours. The danger is, the very thermally hot reactor cores at the plant must be continuously cooled for 24 to 48 hours. Without any electricity, the pumps won't be able to pump water through the hot reactor cores to cool them. Once electricity is lost, the irradiated nuclear fuel could begin to melt down. If the containment systems fail, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur.
"In addition to the reactor cores, the storage pool for highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel is also at risk. The pool cooling water must be continuously circulated. Without circulation, the still thermally hot irradiated nuclear fuel in the storage pools will begin to boil off the cooling water. Within a day or two, the pool's water could completely boil away. Without cooling water, the irradiated nuclear fuel could spontaneously combust in an exothermic reaction. Since the storage pools are not located within containment, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur. Up to 100 percent of the volatile radioactive Cesium-137 content of the pools could go up in flames and smoke, to blow downwind over large distances. Given the large quantity of irradiated nuclear fuel in the pool, the radioactivity release could be worse than the Chernobyl nuclear reactor catastrophe of 25 years ago."
Meanwhile, Kyodo is reporting that local radiation levels are 8 times more than normal.
Update 4:43 PM: Now according to Kyodo, radiation is measured at 1000x normal.
Update 5:05: The entire world is now watching the Fukushima plant. Here's a llink to a satellite image of the plant, just to get some more perspective on where this is.
Update 5:33: Both reactors at the plant have been damaged, and officials say they have "lost control" of the pressure, according to Reuters.
Update 7:39: The latest from Kyodo Wire: Government holds emergency meeting on the plant, and is taking unprecedented stap of demanding the plant open a key valve.
Update 7:51: At least 20,000 people are being evacuated from the region says Reuters, which ominously quotes
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/fukushima-nuclear-plant-2011-3#ixzz1GLagSzNd