Mar 12 2011

State of Emergency for Five Nuclear Reactors in Japan

Published by at 7:32 am under Uncategorized

The 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan, the largest since records have been kept, has led to a state of emergency being declared for five nuclear plants. The five reactors are located at two plants in Fukushima, located about 150 miles north of Tokyo. Residents within a six-mile radius of Plant No. 1 have been evacuated , with a good likelihood of the same happening at Plant No 2.

According to the L.A. Times, “Shaking from the magnitude 8.9 quake caused the reactors’ control rods to be inserted into the core, a safety precaution that shut down the reactors’ ability to generate electricity. The cores remained very hot, however, and would boil away all the cooling water within an hour unless the water were continuously circulating through the reactors’ cooling towers. But the tsunami also destroyed the electrical grid that would provide power to the cooling pumps and disabled the backup diesel generators that were supposed to kick in if that happened. That left only batteries to run the pumps.”

Radiation levels have increased 1000 times within Unit 1. In addition to the damage cause by the quake, the tsunami knocked out power and the plants have to carry out emergency efforts with batteries which last approximately eight hours, which are being flown in by the military.

At present, the reactors at the two plants can no longer cool radioactive substances. There are conflicting reports on whether or not there has been radiation leakage from the plants.

We’ll update this as developments occur.

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