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
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.
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.
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'....
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.
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