WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2011
THE POWER OF KNOWING SINCE 1855
COUNTRY IN RUINS
JAPAN FACES DESTRUCTION AND DESPAIR AFTER DISASTER
TOKYO – The number of miss-ing and feared dead in Japan’s epicearthquake soared to more than1,800 by early Sunday as a reel-ing nation struggled to containan unprecedented nuclear crisis, pluck people in tsunami-inundatedareas to safety, quell raging blazesand provide succor to hundreds of thousands of frightened people lefthomeless and dazed.As the second full post-quakeday dawned Sunday, authoritiessaid about 400,000 people had been forced to ee the quake’s gi-ant swath of destruction. more thana quarter of them refugees from thearea surrounding the Fukushimanuclear plant, which is located ap- prizimately 150 miles north of thecity of Tokyo.The crisis intensied as of-cials reported three of the Fu-kushima complex’s six reactorswere in trouble, and emergencymeasures were being taken tocool them.Dozens of people were believedto have been exposed to elevatedlevels of radiation, and ofcialssought to reassure a frightened public that the radiation leak wasunder control.Cesium and iodine, byproductsof nuclear ssion, were detectedaround the plant in what couldrank as the worst atomic incidentin Japan’s roughly half-century of nuclear power generation.With punishing aftershocks con-tinuing to jolt the quake zone. TheJapanese military was mobilizing50,000 of its personnel, together with ships and planes, to aid in arescue effort that has swiftly turnedinto a deadly race against time. Ina country where every modern con-venience has long extended intoeven remote areas, the basics of daily survival, food, water, power.Were unaccustomedly threat-ened. That did not include another 200 to 300 unidentied corpses,mostly tsunami victims, that had been transported to Sendai, thehardest-hit large city.
Number of missing, dead skyrocketsto 1,800 in quake aftermath
Homes burned and ships were piled in a mass o debris in Kesennuma, Miyagi Perecture
/Los Angeles Times/MCT
/Los Angeles Times/MCT
Families mourn the loss o loved ones ater checking lists o deceist
displaced ater hurricane struck Millions o amilies
Thousands o Japanese businesses oblideratedRepair costsprojected in the billions
Eforts to cool down Fuku-shima’s No. 1 nuclear plant’soverheating reactors arecontinuing, as workers rush toprevent highly toxic radia-tion being released into theatmosphere.
Traces o radioactive iodinerom the power plant are de-tected in Tokyo and elsewherein the Kanto area
GM orced to cut Louisianatruck output as quake causesparts shortage
Michigan residents crammedinto a church in ront o theUnited Nations on Fridayto show their support orJapanese victims at a prayerservice, which was ollowed bya candlelight vigil.
The efects o last week’s earth-quake and tsunami are likelyto push down Japan’s grossdomestic product by a net 0.2percent or more in scal 2011
Lowdown onnuclear crisisand potentialscenarios
The current situation?
There are six reactors at theFukushima No. 1 plant.Reactors 1, 2 and 3 were inoperation when the massiveearthquake struck.The three reactors immedi-ately shut down and controlrods were inserted to neutral-ize them. Reactors 4, 5 and 6were already shut down for maintenance at the time of thedisaster.
How are the reactorsholding up?
Reactors 1, 2 and 3 are presumed to have all beendamaged to varying degrees astheir water levels receded andtemperatures spiked followingthe quake and tsunami.Seawater has been pumpedinto reactors 1, 2 and 3 tomaintain sufcient water lev-els around the fuel assembliesand prevent the reactors fromoverheating.
Worst case scenerio?
The fuel rods that generateenergy in nuclear reactors arelong rods in a zirconium alloycladding. If the attempts tocool the reactors fail and thewater that covers the fuel rodsrecedes, exposing the rods, thetemperature begins to rise, asis the case with the Fukushimareactors.In the worst-case scenario, theradioactive fuel would burnthrough the reactor’s protec-tive containment layers andrelease large amounts of radia-tion into the atmosphere.
Improving jobs picture little relief for Michigan’s unemployed
DETROIT – Since losing his jobdoing technical work for a Detroit-area television station more thantwo years ago, Ronni Brewster has worked part-time as a lunchassistant at his daughter’s elemen-tary school, completed a yearlonggraphic design training programand searched exhaustively for work.He received word Wednesdaythat about ve months remain be-fore his unemployment assistanceruns out, and he’s trying his bestto remain optimistic as his job huntcontinues. Despite the state’s lin-gering economic troubles, Michi-gan is his home - and it’s where hewants to stay.“I’m one of those people who aretotally pro-Michigan,” said Brews-ter, 45 of Madison Heights. “I lovethe state. I never want to leave thestate. I’m going to make it work.I’m just not sure how.”The employment picture has gen-erally brightened in Michigan over the past year, with the January un-employment rate released this week declining to 10.7 percent - three full percentage points below its January2010 level of 13.7 percent.But with 508,000 people look-ing for jobs in Michigan, and half of them unemployed for six monthsor more, there’s little relief for thelong-term unemployed.Of the 13.9 million Americansunemployed in January, about 1.8million had been without work for 99 weeks, or essentially two years,according to government data. Thatnumber of unemployed is nearlydouble from January 2010.Michigan tracks its long-termunemployed by a shorter 27-week period, and the state reports that the percentage of those out of work for that time or longer has remainedrelatively stable over the past year.“That’s obviously a real prob-lem,” said Jim Rhein, a labor marketanalyst with the state’s Departmentof Energy, Labor and EconomicGrowth. Still, he added: “It’s a lot better that it was. ... We’re headedin the right direction, but we’re no-where near where we need to be.”
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“I love the state.I never want toleave the state.I’m going to makeit work. I’m justnot sure how.”
- RONNI BREWSTER Michigan resident
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland says WillRhymes will be his opening day second baseman.
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Census: Lansing populationfalls 4 percent
Michigan’s population dropped by 54,000 people in the pastdecade. Ingham, Clinton Coun-ty saw 16 percent growth - thelargest increase of any Michi-gan county. Though the city of Lansing lost 4.2
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Keepers meet baby pandas thatare being loaned to Toledo Zoo
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