Friday, March 18, 2011

Japan raises nuclear alert level - 18th March 2011

Combo pictures of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. The nuclear plant is mainly for generating electricity and is fortunately located 50 miles from Fukushima town which has more than 300,000 populations as of 2003.

Exactly one week after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake on 11th March 2011 that shook Japan and the subsequent 4 meters tsunami that left approximately 16,000 people dead or missing, the country is still under threat of a serious nuclear breakdown which is deadlier than the Tsunami and Earthquake combined, for the radiation can reach far flung countries.

BBC reported on 18th March 2011 that Japan has raised the alert level at a stricken nuclear plant from four to five on a seven-point international scale for atomic accidents.

The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi site is now two levels below Ukraine's 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The head of the United Nation's nuclear watchdog warned in Tokyo the battle to stabilise the plant was a race against time.

The crisis was prompted by last week's huge quake and tsunami, which left more than 16,000 people dead or missing.

The Japanese nuclear agency's decision to raise the alert level to five grades Fukushima's as an "accident with wider consequences".

It also places the crisis on a par with 1979's Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the US.

Meanwhile, further heavy snowfall overnight brought more misery to survivors of the 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami, all but ending hopes of finding anyone else alive in the rubble.

According to the latest figures, 6,405 people are confirmed dead and about 10,200 are listed missing.

On Friday 18th March 2011, people across Japan observed a minute's silence at 1446 (0546 GMT), exactly one week after the disaster.

Relief workers toiling in the ruins bowed their heads, while elderly survivors in evacuation centres wept as the country paused to remember.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, arrived in Tokyo and said the Fukushima crisis was a "race against the clock".

"This is not something that just Japan should deal with, and people of the entire world should co-operate with Japan and the people in the disaster areas," said Mr Amano, a Japanese citizen.

He said he would not visit the Fukushima Daiichi site on his current trip to the country.

His four-member team of nuclear experts would start by monitoring radiation in the capital, he said, before moving to the vicinity of the quake-hit facility, reports Kyodo news agency.

Military fire trucks have been spraying the plant's overheating reactor units for a second day.

Water in at least one fuel pool - in reactor 3 - is believed to be dangerously low, exposing the stored fuel rods.

If the ponds run dry, a nuclear chain reaction could release more radiation into the atmosphere.

God bless Japan.. God bless the World.. God Bless us..

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