– Japan nuclear blast could be more deadly than Chernobyl, experts fear (Ha’aretz)
– Another Japan nuclear reactor fails (Los Angeles Times):
A third reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 plant loses its emergency cooling capacity, bringing to six the number of reactors that have failed at the two Fukushima nuclear power plants since the earthquake and tsunami.
– Radiation levels rise above limit at quake-hit plant: Kyodo (Reuters)
– IAEA: Japan may hand out iodine near nuclear plants (Reuters):
VIENNA (Reuters) – Japanese authorities have told the U.N.’s atomic watchdog they are making preparations to distribute iodine to people living near nuclear power plants affected by Friday’s earthquake, the Vienna-based agency said.
Iodine can be used to help protect against thyroid cancer in the case of radioactive exposure in a nuclear accident.
After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, thousands of cases of thyroid cancer were reported in children and adolescents who were exposed at the time of the accident. More cases are expected.
In Japan Saturday, radiation leaked from a damaged nuclear reactor after an explosion blew the roof off in the wake of the massive earthquake, but the government insisted that radiation levels were low.
Japan’s Jiji news agency later said three workers suffered radiation exposure near the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear body, said Japanese authorities had informed it of the explosion and that they were “assessing the condition of the reactor core.”
Japan expanded the evacuation zone around the plant, Fukushima Daiichi, and also that of the nearby Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.
“The authorities also say they are making preparations to distribute iodine to residents in the area of both the plants,” the IAEA said in a statement.
“The IAEA has reiterated its offer of technical assistance to Japan, should the government request this,” it said.
– US Nuclear Experts Worry About Possible Japan Reactor Meltdown (Voice of America)
Meltdown may be occurring at nuclear plant, Japanese official says
‘There is a possibility, we see the possibility of a meltdown,’ an official with Japan’s nuclear agency says in an interview with CNN, adding that he is basing this on radioactivity measurements near the plant Saturday night. But the Japanese ambassasdor to the U.S. tells CNN that there’s no evidence of a meltdown.
A meltdown may be occurring at one of the reactors at an earthquake-damaged nuclear power plant in northeast Japan, a government official told CNN Sunday morning Japan time.
“There is a possibility, we see the possibility of a meltdown,” said Toshihiro Bannai, director of the international affairs office of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety, in a telephone interview with CNN from the agency’s Tokyo headquarters. “At this point, we have still not confirmed that there is an actual meltdown, but there is a possibility.”
Bannai said engineers have been unable to get close enough to the reactor’s core to know what’s going on, and that he based his conclusion on radioactive cesium and iodine measured in the air near the plant Saturday night. Continue reading »
Tags: Environment, Global News, Government, IAEA, Iodine, Japan, nuclear power plants, Nuclear reactors, Politics, Radiation