There’s been a partial meltdown at one of the nuclear reactors struck by the earthquake in Japan. Apparently, a little radiation leaked into the atmosphere is not to be construed as critical, just worrisome… WTF???
It’s really a stunning disaster that I can only stress again should be serious food for thought here in the United States, where we have nuclear power plants built along fault lines. Here’s the latest news on what’s being done to prevent a complete nuclear meltdown:
Japanese officials took the extraordinary step on Saturday of flooding a crippled nuclear reactor with seawater in a last-ditch effort to avoid a nuclear meltdown, as the nation grappled simultaneously with its worst nuclear mishap and the aftermath of its largest recorded earthquake.
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station had both a radiation leak and an explosion on Saturday which “prompted the government to expand an evacuation order to affect 170,000 people in the plant’s vicinity.”
This is just horrifying…
The Japanese Nuclear and Industrial safety agency said as many as 160 people may have been exposed to radiation around the plant, and Japanese news media said three workers at the facility were suffering from full-on radiation sickness.
Even if Japan manages to avoid large, uncontrolled releases of radiation that would result from a meltdown, the problems at the Fukushima facility already amounted to the worst nuclear accident in Japan’s history and perhaps the biggest malfunction at a nuclear plant since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago, the worst ever.
The good news is the nuclear plant flooded with sea water today is no doubt history:
The decision to flood the reactor core with seawater, experts said, was an indication that Tokyo Electric and Japanese authorities had probably decided to scrap the plant, because the salt water would corrode its delicate metal innards. “This plant is almost 40 years old, and now it’s over for that place,” Olli Heinonen, the former chief inspector for the I.A.E.A., and now a visiting scholar at Harvard, said on Saturday.
It’s time to kiss the nuclear power industry goodbye… It’s long overdue. Let Congress know — NO MORE NUKES.
Meanwhile the death toll is rising in Japan as the rush is on to save survivors of the quake and tsunami.