Image credit: truthout, used under Creative Commons license.
23:00 GMT: The evacuation zone has been expanded to 10 km.
21:40 GMT: Radiation 1,000 times higher than normal detected at nuke plant: safety panel
20:26 GMT: Efforts are underway to cool the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor 260 km North of Tokyo after damages caused by yesterday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami. It is being reported that the reactor temperature is 1.5 higher than normal and that radiation levels are rising in the nuclear plant's turbine building. Damage to the plants cooling system is preventing cooling water from being circulated to cool the reactor and a release of "slightly" radioactive gases may become necessary. 3000 residents within a 3 km radius have been evacuated with residents within 10 km be advised to shelter in place. Here in the US, precautionary steps have been taken to secure nuclear power plants along the West Coast as tsunami waves begin to hit. ELP.com is reporting that "Nuclear power plant operator PG&E; Corp. said it declared an unusual event at its Diablo Canyon power plant in California due to the tsunami warning." Some are already raising concerns about the potential risk to US nuclear power plants located near fault lines.
All Things Nuclear (Union Of Concerned Scientists): Nuclear Crisis at Fukushima
Pablo Päster is a weekly columnist for TreeHugger.com and Principal Environmental Consultant at Hara Software. Connect to his RSS feed.
More TreeHugger Articles On Nuclear Safety:
Public Mistrusts Nuclear Power, Report Says
Interactive Map of Nuclear Reactors and Safety Problems
Two Old Nuclear Reactors To Be Closed in Hamaoka, Japan