Dangerous Radioactive Steam in Fukushima Terrifies

March 16, 2011

(ChattahBox World News)–The people of Japan are now consumed with fear, uncertainty, desperation and panic, while they hold their breath (literally) waiting for news of the next nuclear calamity. Added to the fears of dangerous radiation exposure, are continuing aftershocks and the possibility of another tsunami. And thousands of bodies continue to wash ashore. The final death toll could exceed 10,000 souls. Early Wednesday, another fire at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station released deadly levels of radiation into the atmosphere, forcing the temporary evacuation of the remaining 50 plant workers, whom are hailed as Japan’s heroes. Now that the workers are back, they face multiple breaches in the reactor containment vessels. An ominous white cloud of radioactive vapor now hovers over the Fukushima facility. Outside of the nearly 18-mile evacuation area, residents have been told to stay indoors and seal off their homes. Food, water and fuel are in short supply. And it’s cold, very cold. Imagine being sealed up in your home, terrified of radiation exposure for yourself and your children, without heat or enough food and water. The Japanese people are living a nightmare, and it won’t end soon.

Besides the breaks in the containment vessels, the hydrogen explosions, the fires and the partial melting of nuclear cores, there is the looming danger of the spent rods stored in the suppression pool melting and spewing lethal radiation into the air.

The New York Times writes:

“When those workers were forced to suspend operations, the spent fuel rod pool began heating up dangerously. Earlier, Japanese broadcasters showed live footage of thick plumes of steam rising above the plant.

The vessel that possibly ruptured on Wednesday had been seen as the last fully intact line of defense against large-scale releases of radioactive material from the stricken reactor, but it was not clear how serious the possible breach might be.

The revised official assessment of the severity of the damage may have been designed to reduce some concerns about the containment vessel, which encloses the core, but the implications of overheating in the fuel rod pool — which is also at the No. 3 reactor — seemed potentially dire.”

The Fukushima nuclear disaster is now viewed as the worse nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The Institute for Science and International Security rates Fukshima as a level 6, with 7 being the highest, and the designation given to Chernobyl.

“This event is now closer to a level 6, and it may unfortunately reach a level 7. A level 6 event means that consequences are broader and countermeasures are needed to deal with the radioactive contamination. A level 7 event would constitute a larger release of radioactive material, and would require further extended countermeasures,” reads the ISIS statement.

The Guardian has a live blog on the events at Fukushima, with detailed status reports on all six reactors at the plant. You can also find live reports on the disaster at NHK World TV. The reports are heartbreaking.


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