Friday’s 9.0 Earthquake ( The quake Richter Scale revise up from 8.9 on Sunday.) causes Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant four explosions on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Sending fears of a meltdown throughout Japan and the rest of World. From London Daily Mail:
The Japanese nuclear reactor hit by the tsunami went into ‘meltdown’ today, as officials admitted that fuel rods appear to be melting inside three damaged reactors.
There is a risk that molten nuclear fuel can melt through the reactor’s safety barriers and cause a serious radiation leak.
There have already been explosions inside two over-heating reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, and the fuel rods inside a third were partially exposed as engineers desperately fight to keep them cool after the tsunami knocked out systems.
Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said it was ‘highly likely’ that the fuel rods inside all three stricken reactors are melting.
Some experts class that a partial meltdown of the reactor, but others would only use that term for when molten nuclear fuel melts through a reactor’s inner chamber – but not through the outer containment shell.
As fuel rods melt, they form an extremely hot molten pool at the bottom of the reactor that can melt through even the toughest of containment barriers.
Japan is fighting to avoid a nuclear catastrophe after the tsunami. There was a hydrogen explosion at the reactor in Unit Three of the power station earlier today, in which eleven workers were hurt by the blast that was felt 25 miles away.
The reactor at Unit One of Fukushima exploded on Saturday, blowing several walls away but engineers said the core was still contained. The fuel rods in the reactor in Unit Two of the plant were partially exposed from their coolant today – which also increases the risk of meltdown.
Engineers have been fighting to keep the reactors under control after the tsunami knocked out emergency coolant systems on Friday.
California is closely monitoring efforts to contain leaks from a quake-damaged Japanese nuclear plant, a spokesman said Saturday, as experts said radiation could be blown out across the Pacific.
“At present there is no danger to California. However we are monitoring the situation closely in conjunction with our federal partners,” Michael Sicilia, spokesman for California Department of Public Health, told AFP.
“California does have radioactivity monitoring systems in place for air, water and the food supply and can enhance that monitoring if a danger exists,” he added.
Experts have suggested that, if there were a reactor meltdown or major leak at Fukushima, the radioactive cloud would likely be blown out east across the Pacific, towards the US West Coast.
Meanwhile more than half million people are being evacuated from Northeast Japan. From Stuff New Zealand:
The (Japanese) government warned those still in the 20km evacuation zone to stay indoors. TEPCO said 11 people had been injured in the blast yesterday.
Kyodo News said 200,000 people had now been evacuated from the zone, joining more than 450,000 other evacuees from quake and tsunami-hit areas in the northeast.
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