Wednesday, March 16, 2011

US alarm over Japan atomic crisis

BBC- "They are leaving us to die," says the mayor of Minamasoma inside the exclusion zone. Increasing alarm has been expressed in the US about the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Greg Jaczko, chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), said attempts to cool reactors with sea water and prevent them from melting down appeared to be failing. Emergency workers in the vicinity could be exposed to "potentially lethal" radiation doses, he said. The plant was severely damaged by last week's huge earthquake and tsunami. US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has said that the situation at the plant appears to be more serious than the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania in 1979. The US state department has urged Americans living within 80km (50 miles) of Fukushima Daiichi, which lies 220km from Tokyo, to leave the area - a much wider exclusion zone than the 20km advised by the Japanese government. Some US military personnel in Japan have been given tablets against possible radiation effects. Britain has now advised its nationals currently in Tokyo and to the north of the capital to consider leaving the area. Read More