UPDATE: It seems Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has just announced the evacuation of the remaining 50 workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant – seems their containment efforts have failed. No more information is available at this time, but we will keep you updated. In the meantime, please support the victims of this tragedy.
After the earthquake and tsunami that engulfed Japan recently, the country began to experience issues with its nuclear power plant at Fukushima Daiichi. The Prime Minister was concerned about the radiation that would emanate from the reactors, causing the nation to take swift action. Approximately 200,000 residents living within a 20 km radius of the power plant were evacuated to prevent radiation issues. Flights have also been restricted from flying over the area to prevent threats of radiation – in hopes of containing the threat. However, a new blast at the nuclear power plant that occurred today has raised fears of greater radiation threat in the area.
50 nuclear workers were requested to remain at the power plant to contain the situation, without whom, it would be much worse – with radiation emanating throughout Japan and other areas. CNN has created a full timeline of how Japan’s nuclear crisis unfolded and you can check that out on their website here.
A fire was discovered Wednesday in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the latest in a series of setbacks at the stricken plant that has heightened fears that the incidents could lead to widespread radiation contamination. The fire allowed a hydrogen explosion Tuesday at the plant’s No. 2 reactor, whereas hydrogen explosions had previously occurred in the plant’s No. 1 and No. 3 reactors. Another fire had broken out Tuesday in the No. 4 reactor and while it burned, radiation levels at the plant increased to about 167 times the average dose, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
Just between Units 3 and 4, Japanese authorities said that they had measured radiation dose rates of up to 400 millisieverts-per-hour, IAEA reported – that’s equivalent to about 2,000 chest x-rays per hour. Although the radiation is concentrated in a single area, a potential shift in wind directions could send radiation toward populated areas as far as 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) – where authorities have warned people to stay inside.
Although the water from the tsunami has receded, the threat from the radiation is rising, but it is still not considered life threatening as most of the population near the power plant has been evacuated. However, radiation levels in Tokyo, about 225 kilometers (140 miles) southwest of the plant, were twice the usual level on Tuesday. The concentration — 0.809 microsieverts per hour — posed no health threat, but the increase in radiation will create panic among the public. If the situation is not contained and radiation increases further in Tokyo, it’s 13 million residents will have to be evacuated — definitely not an easy task.