JAPAN DECLARES NUCLEAR EMERGENCY; EXPLOSION AT REACTOR INJURES 4 AS AUTHORITIES RACE CLOCK TO STOP CORE MELTDOWN

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MASS EVACUATIONS UNDERWAY DUE TO NUCLEAR CRISIS;

80,000 MISSING, 1,300 CONFIRMED DEAD FROM QUAKE & TSUNAMI

 

Update March 12, 2011 (8 a.m.) -- An explosion rocked the nuclear plant at Fukishima Daiichi during the night, sending plumes of smoke billowing forth. However Japanese authorities say the fire was at a pumping station that failed, not the reactor core. 

 

The threat of a melt-down remains as officials try to cool reactors at two facilities damaged by the earthquake (upgraded to a 9.1), tsunami and now, fire. 

 

The evacuation zone has widened to 12.5 miles and iodine tablets will be distributed to residents to try and prevent excess radiation absorption; radiation levels 1,000 times normal have been detected as well as cesium, a sign that some fuel in the Fukishimia reactor may be melting. If the structure walls of the reactor hold, a Chernobyl worst-case scenario may yet be avoided, experts say.

 

Latest news links and video on Japan's nuclear crisis:  

Business insiders: http://www.businessinsider.com/fukushima-nuclear-plant-2011-3#ixzz1GMWv8LDN

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/12/japan.nuclear/index.html

 

Scroll down for more on this emerging crisis.

 

 

Update 10:00 p.m.  Headline from Kyodo Wire: Fukushima nuke plant might be experiencing nuclear meltdown. From AP via Steve Herman: A meltdown would potentially put humans at risk within a 6 KM range.  WSJ: Authorities pouring water into reactor to "stop the meltdown." Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/fukushima-nuclear-plant-2011-3#ixzz1GMWv8LDN

 

 

March 11, 2011 9:30 p.m. (San Diego) – CNN reports that Japanese authorities have declared a state of emergency at five nuclear power plants. According to Reuters, Japan has hours, at most, to find a way to cool the reactors' core or face nuclear meltown.

 

A  radiation leak has been identified at one plant, with radiation 1,000 times normal levels. Thousands of people have been evacuated as authorities scramble to stave off Armageddon in a nation already reeling from the dual disasters of an 8.9 earthquake and tsunami with a 30-foot wave that struck Japan yesterday. Five nuclear plants in the nation are shut down, leaving millions without power.

 

Japan's Jiji news reports a high possibility of meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 reactor.

Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission is now reporting cesium detection -- which may mean a nuclear core meltdown has begun at Fukushima.

 

What is a nuclear meltdown? Wikipedia has a  primer.

 

The crisis also raises concerns about the safety of U.S. nuclear facilities in a natural disaster, including San Onofre, located near an earthquake fault along the shore in northern San Diego County.

 

For details on plant locations and updates, view these sites:

 

ANALYSIS: JAPAN MAY HAVE JUST HOURS TO PREVENT NUCLEAR MELTDOWN
March 11, 2011 (Reuters) -- (Reuters) - Japanese officials may only have hours to cool reactors that have been disabled by Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami or face a nuclear meltdown.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-japan-quake-nuclear-us-anal...

JAPAN DECLARES NUCLEAR EMERGENCY
March 11, 2011 (BBC News-Asia Pacific) 11:26 p.m.-- Japanese authorities have declared a state of emergency at two nuclear power plants, after Friday's devastating earthquake caused malfunctions.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12720219

 

JAPAN’S NUCLEAR PLANT EMERGENCIES
Japan's Nuclear Plant Emergencies: Hours to Cool Reactors or Face Core Meltdown, Say Experts
March 11, 2011 (BradBlog)--UPDATED with new items as available at bottom of article...
LATEST: Reuters: 'Japan authorities say high possibility of meltdown'....

http://www.bradblog.com/

 

JAPAN BATTLES TO CONTAIN NUCLEAR CRISIS AFTER HUGE QUAKE
March 11, 2011 (Reuters) - Japan scrambled on Saturday to reduce pressure in two nuclear plants damaged after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck its northeast coast probably killing at least 1,300 people.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-japan-quake-idUSTRE72A0SS20... 
 

JAPANESE TV STATION FOOTAGE SHOWS POWER OF TSUNAMI, WASHING AWAY ENTIRE TOWNS:  http://www.businessinsider.com/pictures-earthquake-2011-3#smoke-rises-from-japans-odaiba-bay-1

 

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