Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yukio Edano, said the inner reactor container was intact following a hydrogen
explosion at Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, NHK reported Monday. To watch the first VIDEOS of the Explosion PLEASE CLICK HERE A massive column of smoke was seen belching from the plant's No. 3 unit Monday. The reactor had been under emergency watch for a possible explosion as pressure built up there following a hydrogen blast Saturday in the facility's Unit 1. Officials have been racing stave off multiple reactor meltdowns after a devastating quake and tsunami incapacitated the Fukushima plant. More than 180,000 people have evacuated the area, and up to 160 may have been exposed to radiation. Four nuclear plants in northeastern Japan have reported damage. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Sunday that a hydrogen explosion could occur at Daiichi's Unit 3, the latest reactor to face a possible meltdown. That would follow a hydrogen blast Saturday in the plant's Unit 1.
"At the risk of raising further public concern, we cannot rule out the possibility of an explosion," Edano said. "If there is an explosion, however, there would be no significant impact on human health." Operators have been dumping seawater into units 1 and 3 in a last-ditch measure to cool the reactors. They were getting water into the other four reactors with cooling problems without resorting to corrosive sea water, which likely makes the reactors unusable. A meltdown at the No. 3 reactor could be more serious than at the other reactors because it is fueled by both plutonium and uranium, BBC News reported. The others have only uranium fuel. Edano said residents within about 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the Daiichi plant were ordered to evacuate as a precaution, and the radioactivity released into the environment so far was so small it didn't pose any health threats. Such statements, though, did little to ease public worries. "First I was worried about the quake," said Kenji Koshiba, a construction worker who lives near
the plant. "Now I'm worried about radiation." He spoke at an emergency center in Koriyama, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) from the most troubled reactors and 125 miles (190 kilometers) north of Tokyo. At the makeshift center set up in a gym, a steady flow of people ² mostly the elderly, schoolchildren and families with babies ² were met by officials wearing helmets, surgical masks and goggles. About 1,500 people had been scanned for radiation exposure, officials said. Up to 160 people, including 60 elderly patients and medical staff who had been waiting for evacuation in the nearby town of Futabe, and 100 others evacuating by bus, might have been exposed to radiation, said Ryo Miyake, a spokesman from Japan's nuclear agency. It was unclear whether any cases of exposure had reached dangerous levels. A foreign ministry official briefing reporters said radiation levels outside the Daiichi plant briefly rose above legal limits, but had since declined significantly. Edano said none of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors was near the point of complete meltdown, and he was confident of escaping the worst scenarios. Officials, though, have declared states of emergency at the six reactors where cooling systems were down ² three at Daiichi and three at the nearby Fukushima Daini complex.
The U.N. nuclear agency said a state of emergency was also declared Sunday at another complex, the Onagawa power plant, after higher-than-permitted levels of radiation were measured there. But radiation levels at that plant returned to normal later Sunday. A pump for the cooling system at yet another nuclear complex, the Tokai Daini plant, also failed after Friday's quake but a second pump operated normally as did the reactor, said the utility, the Japan Atomic Power Co. It did not explain why it did not announce the incident until Sunday. Edano denied there had been a meltdown in the Fukushima Daiichi complex, but other officials said the situation was not so clear. Hidehiko Nishiyama, a senior official of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, indicated the reactor core in Unit 3 had melted partially, telling a news conference, "I don't think the fuel rods themselves have been spared damage," according to the Kyodo News agency. A complete meltdown ² the melting of the radioactive core ² could release uranium and
dangerous contaminants into the environment and pose major, widespread health risks. The steel reactor vessel could melt or break from the heat and pressure. A concrete platform underneath the reactor is supposed to catch the molten metal and nuclear fuel, but the intensely hot material could set off a massive explosion if water has collected on the platform. Radioactive material also could be released into the ground if the platform fails. The explosion that destroyed the walls and ceiling of Daiichi Unit 1's containment building was much less serious that a meltdown would be ² in fact, it was operators' efforts to avoid a meltdown that caused it. Officials vented steam from the reactor to reduce pressure, and were aware that there was an explosion risk because the steam contained hydrogen, said Shinji Kinjo, spokesman for the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. The explosion occurred when hydrogen reacted with oxygen outside the reactor.
www.Zimvi.comJapan: 5 ways to help
Japan: 5 ways to help
By Christine Macdonald
With the world in shock over the devastation in Japan, it¶s hard to go about the day without thinking about the many people who are suffering and in need of our help. Here are some ways you can. RED CROSS (US) http://www.redcross.org/ Donating $10.00 has never been easier. Text REDCROSS to 90999 on your cell phone and ten dollars will be added to your phone bill. Money received will directly impact the rescue and rebuilding efforts by The American Red Cross. AMERICARES http://www.americares.org/ Michelle Jackson, AmeriCares emergency response manager, who has arrived in Japan, reports that the Tokyo airport is operational and rail service in the city is functioning, but many rail lines heading north are shut down. AmeriCares promise is simple: when people are in crisis, they will get the help they need, wherever they are, whenever they need it. Your donation is a vital part of that promise. To donate, please visit their website.
SAVE THE CHILDREN http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.61159 47/k.8D6E/Official_Site.html Save the Children serves impoverished, marginalized and vulnerable children and families in more that 120 nations. Their programs reach both children and those working to save and improve their lives, including parents, caregivers, community members and members of our partner organizations. They help save children¶s lives, protect them from exploitation and assist them in accessing education and health care. GLOBAL LIVING http://www.globalgiving.org/ Text JAPAN to 50555 to give a $10.00 donation. How does Global Living work? GlobalGiving begins with the dedicated, tenacious individuals who are driving change in their communities. From running orphanages and schools, to helping survivors of natural disasters, these people are do-gooders to the core. They connect these "good idea people" with the "generous giver people" and help projects of all sizes receive donations of all sizes. INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS. http://www.internationalmedicalcorps.org/ Their Mission: From Relief to Self-Reliance
International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, International Medical Corps is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide. By offering training and health care to local populations and medical assistance to people at highest risk, and with the flexibility to respond rapidly to emergency situations, International Medical Corps rehabilitates devastated health care systems and helps bring them back to self-reliance. We are all connected through humanity. Sometimes it takes a disaster to remind us.