Japan's Nukes and Refineries: What's Going Untold
Japan’s struggle to avoid full-on meltdown at nuclear reactors that lost cooling power after the quake. The shutdown of major Japanese oil refineries. Both raise questions that scream for answers about corporate and government behavior.
Japan’s nuclear plants closest to the 8.9 quake and tsunami seem to be destabilizing fast. The best the nation’s nuclear agency could say Wednesday was that the most damaged reactor, near Tokyo, was not in “imminent danger” of a full core meltdown. Emergency workers flooded the #1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant with corrosive seawater, permanently ruining its innards in last-ditch efforts to prevent meltdown following an explosion at or near the reactor itself. (video here)
Something bad was also happening at the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s No. 3 reactor (of 6 total reactors at the complex), possibly a loss of backup power to run coolant into the reactor. 170,000 residents for 12.5 miles around were being chaotically evacuated as officials dithered about how much radiation was being released. Three other reactors were also struggling with cooling systems, and a total of 11 had been shut down–20% of Japan’s electric generation, according the Washington Post.
From the Post story:
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