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March 13, 2011

Fukushima #3 Explodes

Reports are the explosion is due to the same thing that caused the explosion of #1, buildup of hydrogen gas.

Update: As with #1, secondary containment is blown away. The inner or primary containment is still intact. From BreakingNews on Twitter:

Inner reactor container reportedly intact after explosion at Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant - AP

Update: Seven people are missing, and three are injured. From the Wall Street Journal Live Blog.

Update: Kyodo News: Radiation levels have not risen significantly. Control room intact. Three workers injured.

''According to the plant chief's assessment, the container's health has been maintained,'' Edano told a press conference. ''The possibility is low that massive radioactive materials have spattered.''

Edano said the blast that blew away the roof and the walls of the building housing the container was similar to an explosion Saturday at the No. 1 reactor of the same plant, following Friday's magnitude 9.0 quake.

It had been widely expected that the No. 3 reactor would follow the same path.

The top government spokesman said operations to pour seawater into the reactor to cool it down were continuing and the level of pressure in the container was stable.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said wind was not blowing in the area. The radiation level had not significantly risen, it added.

Again, for reference purposes, schematics of the Fukushima reactors (below the fold):


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