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March 12, 2011

Japan Nuclear Plant Update: Officials Say Reactor Containment Dome NOT Breached

Some relativly good news.

A huge explosion has rocked a Japanese nuclear power plant damaged by Friday's devastating earthquake.

A pall of smoke was seen coming from the plant at Fukushima. Four workers were injured.

Japanese officials say the container housing the reactor was not damaged and that radiation levels have now fallen.

...The Japanese government's chief spokesman, Yukio Edano, said the concrete building housing the plant's number one reactor had collapsed but the metal reactor container inside was not damaged.

He said radiation levels around the plant had fallen after the explosion.

Officials ordered the evacuation zone around the plant expanded from a 10km radius to 20km (12 miles). The BBC's Nick Ravenscroft said police stopped him 60km from the Fukushima-Daiichi plant.

Plans are being made to distribute iodine, which can be used to combat radiation sickness, to residents of the evacuation zone.

They have detected increased level of radiation outside the plant and based on the elements it may mean there has been at least a partial meltdown in the reactor.

It turns out that there's a scale for nuclear power accidents. On a scale of 1-7, Three Mile Island was a 5, Chernobyl was a 7 and so far this is being rated as a 4. *

Meanwhile...there continue to be numerous aftershocks. They are in the 6+ magnitude range. You can see how many there have been in the last hour and day alone. It's simply amazing.

*Correction to the Three Mile Island rating via "Purple Fury". The 5 rating is from this IAEA pdf.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:25 AM

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