This video of today’s (March 14) explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station looks scary. Whatever’s the real score, the public’s not going to know the whole picture anytime soon. As we should expect, the Japanese government will face the issue cautiously, as it seeks to avoid being identified with other nuclear disasters like Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
But I am am not about to believe forwarded text messages about radiation from Fukushima affecting the Philippines soon. I’d rather rely on official announcements from credible bodies like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which has a presence on Facebook:
latest update –
Japanese authorities have reported to the IAEA that Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 has experienced decreasing coolant levels in the reactor core. Officials have begun to inject sea water into the reactor to maintain cooling of the reactor core.
Sea water injections into Units 1 and 3 were interrupted yesterday due to a low level in a sea water supply reservoir, but sea water injections have now been restored at both units.
Japan has distributed 230,000 units of stable iodine to evacuation centres from the area around Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants, according to officials. The iodine has not yet been administered to residents; the distribution is a precautionary measure in the event that this is determined to be necessary.The ingestion of stable iodine can help to prevent the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid.
In partnership with the World Meteorological Organization, the IAEA is continuing to monitor weather forecasts and is providing updates to member states. Since the incident began, winds have been moving away from the Japanese coast to the East, and predictions call for the same patterns to persist for the next three days.
The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has provided the IAEA with further information about the hydrogen explosion that occurred today at the unit 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. A hydrogen explosion occurred at unit 3 on 14 March at 11:01AM local Japan time.
All personnel at the site are accounted for. Six people have been injured.
The reactor building exploded but the primary containment vessel was not damaged. The control room of unit 3 remains operational.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace International reacted to reports that the Tokyo Electric Power Co authorised to release nuclear radiation from the Fukushima power plant and that increased levels of radiation have been detected at the plant.
In a statement sent to annalyn.net, Jan Beranek, Greenpeace International Head of Nuclear Campaign said: “Releasing any amount of radiation into the atmosphere risks the health of people in the surrounding area. The fact that the Fukushima nuclear power plant is leaking, or has been forced to deliberately release, contaminated gases from the reactor into the atmosphere means that all of the physical protection that was supposed to isolate radioactivity from the environment has failed.”
“While the immediate focus is on minimising radiation release and keeping local people safe, this is yet another reminder of the inherent risks of nuclear power, which will always be vulnerable to a potentially deadly combination of human error, design failure and natural disaster,” Beranek added.
“Greenpeace is calling for the the phase out of existing reactors, and no construction of new commercial nuclear reactors. Governments should invest in renewable energy resources that are not only environmentally sound but also affordable and reliable.”