This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Fukushima Explosion Update: Core Presumed Intact As Sea Water Used To Bring Temperature Down, Radiation Level At 1015 Microsieverts/Hour

Tyler Durden's picture


The damage control to the Fukushima explosion reported earlier is coming fast and furious. According to CNN, "the explosion at an earthquake-damaged nuclear plant was not caused by
damage to the nuclear reactor but by a pumping system that failed as
crews tried to bring the reactor's temperature down, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Yukio Edano said Saturday. The next step for workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant will be to
flood the reactor containment structure with sea water to bring the
reactor's temperature down to safe levels, he said. The effort is
expected to take two days." While the government is trying to play down the threat from the explosion, it has nonetheless double the evacuation zone radius from 10 to 20 kilometers: "Radiation levels have fallen since the explosion and there is no
immediate danger, Edano said. But authorities were nevertheless
expanding the evacuation to include a radius of 20 kilometers (about
12.5 miles) around the plant. The evacuation previously reached out to
10 kilometers." Next steps are to flood the reactor with salt water. NHK reports: "The
TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture is
believed to be exploded, and in order to prevent corruption, the
containment vessel will be filled with sea water to cool containers and
vehicles used by the SDF pump I. According to the Ministry of Defense,
work will begin at 8:00 pm, and that it expected to end around 1:00 am
on March 13 (or roughly 11 am Eastern)." And while containment efforts peak, the radiation level is reported to be in the range of 1015 microsieverts / hr. In the meantime, confusion in Japan is pervasive as up to a million people are without power. And while we hope the outcome of the Fukushima situation will be prompt and favorable, the economic devastation to the country will be pervasive for weeks to come.

CNN reports:

More damage control:

Radiation levels have fallen since the explosion and there is no immediate danger, Edano said. But authorities were nevertheless expanding the evacuation to include a radius of 20 kilometers (about 12.5 miles) around the plant. The evacuation previously reached out to 10 kilometers.

The explosion about 3:30 p.m. Saturday sent white smoke rising above the plant a day after a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled cooling systems at the plant in northeastern Japan. Four workers were injured in the blast.

The walls of a concrete building surrounding the reactor container collapsed, but the reactor and its containment system were not damaged in the explosion, Edano said.

Before Edano's announcement, Malcolm Grimston, associate fellow for energy, environment and development at London's Chatham House, said the explosion indicated that "it's clearly a serious situation, but that in itself does not necessarily mean major (nuclear) contamination."

Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the injured workers were in the process of cooling a nuclear reactor at the plant by injecting water into its core.

The Fukushima prefecture government said hourly radiation levels at the plant had reached levels allowable for ordinary people over the course of a year, Kyodo reported.

Earlier Saturday, Japan's nuclear agency said workers were continuing efforts to cool fuel rods at the plant after a small amount of radioactive material escaped into the air.

The agency said there was a strong possibility that the radioactive cesium monitors detected was from the melting of a fuel rod at the plant, adding that engineers were continuing to cool the fuel rods by pumping water around them.

Cesium is a byproduct of the nuclear fission process that occurs in nuclear plants.

A spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Agency earlier said atomic material had seeped out of one of the five nuclear reactors at the Daiichi plant, located about 160 miles (260 kilometers) north of Tokyo.

"This is a situation that has the potential for a nuclear catastrophe. It's basically a race against time, because what has happened is that plant operators have not been able to cool down the core of at least two reactors," said Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. quotes Chernobyl veterans who are scrambling to calm the public that this will not be a repeat of the Prypiat disaster:

Experts said pictures of mist above the plant suggested only small amounts of radiation had been expelled as part of measures to ensure its stability, far from the radioactive clouds that Chernobyl spewed out when it exploded in 1986.  

"The explosion at No. 1 generating set of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, which took place today, will not be a repetition of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster," said Valeriy Hlyhalo, deputy director of the Chernobyl nuclear safety centre.  

He was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying Japanese reactors were better protected than Chernobyl, where just over 30 firefighters were killed in the explosion. The world's worst civilian nuclear disaster, Chernobyl has also been blamed for thousands of deaths due to radiation-linked illness.  

"Apart from that, these reactors are designed to work at a high seismicity zone, although what has happened is beyond the impact the plants were designed to withstand," Hlyhalo said.  

"Therefore, the consequences should not be as serious as after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster."   

We will continue following what appears to be nothing but a prolonged attempt at disaster spin as earthquake aftershocks continue.


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:44 | 1044140 sharkbait
sharkbait's picture

This plant and the events thus far are nothing like Chernobyl.  Chernobyl was orders of magnitude worse.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:44 | 1044141 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

worlds 3rd largest economy is coming to a stop for a long time

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:04 | 1044198 Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson's picture

That they have been forced to use sea water shows that the backup diesel generators have failed. This is far from over. Pray.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:12 | 1044221 AG BCN
AG BCN's picture

Don’t go all MC Hammer on us, focus Turd, we need ya

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:38 | 1044296 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

and the discharged water is going... where?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 13:54 | 1044627 OS2010
OS2010's picture

I agree.  No matter what they do, this will not go away.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 17:17 | 1044996 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Sorry for grabbing a spot near the top but I thought these might interest ZH readers.

These are supposedly photos of Unit 1 after the explosion. Can't say if they are real so take them with a grain of salt. But compare them with the illustration of that type of reactor. Maybe the containment is still intact?

Though I seriously doubt the pipes and valves into and out of the reactor are undamaged after the explosion. I don't see the overhead crane in these pictures, which means it was either blasted away or more likely fell in onto the reactor.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 17:46 | 1045049 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

CD-good find and great cutaway of the Mk 1.  I doubt that the first two pix are of Daiichi-1 after the explosion.  Look more like secondary containment structure under construction.  Why?  The siding is so even and much higher than what I think I saw in the explosion video post explosion. 

The donutty thing at the bottom is the 'torus' that contains water to quench steam in the event of a reactor coolant system breach.  Reactor vessel in red.  Primary containment is the structure sorta' form-fitting around the vessel.  Steam comes out the top; rods inserted into the bottom.

- Ned

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 17:57 | 1045061 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

They are showing the same pictures on the live broadcast now. A bit of twisted metal hanging in front .....

TBS News i Japan Live: TBS News i Japan Live

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 18:01 | 1045069 sushi
sushi's picture

In the second image we appear to be looking at the top of the steel containment vessel. If you count the floors on the cutaway with the floor immediately atop the torus as level 1 there are 4 floors plus a section of two heights of framework. In the photo images all the concrete associated with the top level floor is missing and we can see 3 segments of framework. So either the explosion removed a significant amount of concrete or you are correct and the photos are from the construction phase. A report elsewhere stated that one of the deaths was that of the overhead crane operator.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 18:18 | 1045079 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

If you look at all the post explosion photos on the MSM they are all taken from a distance and you can't see the entire vertical height of the building, only the top third or fourth.

After studying high quality photos of all four buildings taken months or years before yesterday, you can see that the top third of the containment buildings all have a line about a third of the way down from the top that seems to demark a joint or connection. I wonder if these buildings were designed for the top to blow away in the even of a buildup of super heated gas, thus protecting the reactor itself to some degree.

Plus if you look closely at these photos, you will see much damage including debris hanging down and some of the steel structure is damaged, bent, twisted and a piece is missing at the top. The horizontal beam where the overhead crane runs on is missing or bent down near the top right. Plus the roof trusses aren't in place. They would never start siding the buildings until the roof was in place since the roof is an integral part of the structure.

Here is a better picture of Unit 1.

Second Photo appears to be after the tsunami in front of unit 4

Third photo is a high detail photo from a few years back.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 18:20 | 1045102 davepowers
davepowers's picture

thanks for posting this CG

there is a new TEPCO press release

This indicates something is going on a #2 and #3 as well. At least the status report is different than for #4-6.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 18:35 | 1045119 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

Now, all 3 live reactors are having problems ... The other 3 reactors were offline for maintenance ...

The emergency cooling system is no longer functioning at the No.3 reactor at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility, requiring the facility to urgently secure a means to supply water to the reactor, an official of the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told a news conference.

20 mins ago.


Also .......


"Because of its high "neutron flux" levels, the reactor pressure vessel can become embrittled and fail during accident conditions. A nuclear accident involving MOX fuel could cause a meltdown more serious than Three Mile Island or Chernobyl, because the levels of radiation inside a reactor using MOX are even higher than in a normal atomic reactor."

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:05 | 1045255 malikai
malikai's picture

Judging by the inflammatory language on the nirs site, I think this as a source of information is useless. If the language used was purely technical, you would not read sentences like this:

But using MOX as a fuel perpetuates the myth that plutonium is a commodity. Use of MOX would set up a reprocessing infrastructure that would allow continued use of plutonium as a fuel for centuries to come. Using plutonium in commercial reactors would be the first step toward the nuclear industry’s goal of recovering more plutonium from irradiated nuclear fuel by reprocessing. This option has been rejected time and again by the U.S. government as uneconomical, unsafe, and prone to nuclear weapon’s proliferation concerns, and so should be rejected again. NIX MOX!

One cannout count this as valid a source with such a strong political view on such a technical subject. Reading that site reminds me of reading Greenpeace circulars during the early 90s.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 18:47 | 1045138 sushi
sushi's picture

Large schematic of this design plus elevation drawing.

There were other reports that on Unit #1 all the control rods were inserted except for 1 rod that did not insert properly. Is it likely that a single missing control rod would give rise to these problems?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 18:59 | 1045153 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

" Is it likely that a single missing control rod would give rise to these problems?"

No, part of the safety analysis that feeds back to the design.  One <anything> failing is part of the design.  Looks like the core shut down, then removal of decay heat is the next function to fulfill. They had (apparently) the emergency diesel generators working for like an hour until (unclear, the tsunami took them out?) the EDGs both failed.

Same happened at TMI-2, core shut down, decay heat rising, fubar the heat removal scheme.

- Ned

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 19:10 | 1045170 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture


Both the cutaway above and this rough and crude schematic shows that the top fourth of the unit is clad with simple siding whereas the bottom three quarters show reinforced concrete. This would help explain only the top portion blowing away.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:34 | 1045282 AUD
AUD's picture

Wouldn't the top of the building blowing off indicate that the reactor itself has exploded? Or if it was the 'pressure suppresion chamber' then the reactor would have taken the full force of the explosion anyhow? & probably disintegrated?

If there was any radioactive material in the core at the time it would now be everywhere else? No wonder radiation levels are down.



Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:49 | 1045305 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Looking at the diagram above the path of egress for gases evolving from fuel rods in contact with the coolant in the Reactor Pressure vessel is:

1) up past the drywell head

2) into the Refueling cavity

3) and then up past the Concrete shield plug

4) into the area above the part labeled Reactor building



Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:58 | 1045317 AUD
AUD's picture

But either way, whatever was in the 'lightbulb' shaped area, including the contents of the reactor vessel, is now part of the atmosphere?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 21:02 | 1045324 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The crude drawing doesn't begin to show the possible pathways to the top of the building nor does it show the vent locations for the reactor vessel. All we can surmise is that super heated hydrogen, once it is vented from the vessel, would attempt to rise to the top of the building.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:27 | 1045849 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Just a question, CD, is your background engineering related; any work with drawings, schematics, technical sketches and the like? A number of us do this for a living (if one can call it a living at times!) and put a little more credance in a well-drawn info-packed sketch for its intended purpose of showing major delineated parts, chambers and enclosures, both sealed and unsealed etc ...

Just wondering.

Good job on getting some of these images/pictures together in one spot too.




Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:56 | 1045315 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

There is no doubt that there are serious problems with the cooling of the reactor. The fact that the top of the building blew off doesn't mean the reactor itself also blew. In fact, the pressure release valves in the reactor vessel would probably let go long before the vessel or vessel top actually blew. That's not the real worry. The worry is an uncontrolled heat buildup with a subsequent melting of the rods which then breaches the bottom of containment eventually hitting ground water, then blowing by way of superheated steam.

What this most likely was was a hydrogen oxygen explosion from hydrogen produced as the fuel rod cladding broke down under extremely high temperatures of over 2000F. This is superheated hydrogen vented from the overheated reactor vessel into the containment building which would naturally try to flow to the top of the building where it mixes with the existing air/oxygen. At some point all it needed was an ignition source.

If the core itself was now scattered all over the site from the explosion the radiation readings would be through the roof and the authorities wouldn't be able to hide the fact for very long. And that picture of unit one with it's top blow off would never have been taken either.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 21:07 | 1045328 AUD
AUD's picture

I dunno, that looked like a powerful explosion. Would the reactor vessel be designed to withstand that kind of force?

The top of the building looks like it was just cladding, doesn't look like the pressure would have been building up inside there, more likely under the concrete plug.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 21:33 | 1045349 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Nobody said pressure was building up in the top of the building. Just that hot hydrogen gas was flowing to the top of the building. Pressure inside the reactor vessel itself was vented into the containment building and the gas that was vented was steam, hydrogen and other gases. The hydrogen/oxygen mix was the explosive mix.

Have you ever seen the result of a gas leak explosion in a home or factory? Incredible force. It has nothing to do with pressure buildup at the top of the building, just a buildup of explosive gases. There doesn't need to be a buildup a pressure, just displacement or mixing of the existing air with the hydrogen. The explosion wasn't caused by pressure buildup, just explosive gas buildup.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:49 | 1045891 fuu
fuu's picture

They were stating last night(CST) that the pressure inside the containment building was 2 times over the design limit. That would indicate to me that there was a lot of gas built up to explode when ignition occured.


I am curious, now that the containment building is broken is the hydrogen/oxygen just venting straight into the air?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:50 | 1045307 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

thx-and then no blast overpressure going down to primary cnmt. - Ned

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 08:21 | 1046268 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

CD-good read. - Ned

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 19:14 | 1045168 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture


A new report released today in the Kremlin prepared for Prime Minister Putin by the Institute of Physics of the Earth, in Moscow, is warning that the America’s are in danger of suffering a mega-quake of catastrophic proportions during the next fortnight (14 days) with a specific emphasis being placed on the United States, Mexico, Central America and South American west coast regions along with the New Madrid Fault Zone region.


First quake almost 7 hours ago off the coast of California ...

Magnitude mb 4.3
Date time 2011-03-12 20:16:58.8 UTC

Magnitude mb 4.8
Date time 2011-03-12 17:54:27.0 UTC

Magnitude mb 5.3
Date time 2011-03-12 17:13:15.0 UTC)

Magnitude mb 5.4
Date time 2011-03-12 14:11:04.0 UTC

Magnitude mb 4.5
Date time 2011-03-12 12:03:42.0 UTC
Location 25.36 N ; 109.76 W

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 19:33 | 1045211 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Gotta love Ken Ring.  BTW, I see a large disclaimer on stating absolutely no relation between sunspots and earthquakes. 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:49 | 1045304 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

It is the sun and the moon.  Tidal forces of nature, electro magnetism and even gravity affects us here on our tiny spaceship.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 21:42 | 1045373 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

This girl predicted the quake, to the day.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:00 | 1045396 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

infowarz has O taking over internet idz o' march 3/15 and endo' the world 5/21.  Let's see! - Ned

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:03 | 1045253 ColonelCooper
Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:45 | 1045292 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

Thanks C.C. .... Skepchick is a group of women (and one deserving guy) who write about science, skepticism, and pseudoscience.


A Conversation with My Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in Japan


............... " My dad- Commander Mark L. Mervine, US Navy– is a nuclear expert who has worked on both nuclear submarines and nuclear power plants. I wanted to find out why my dad is so concerned about the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, so I called him up just a few minutes ago and recorded the call. I asked my dad all of the questions I had about the nuclear disaster. I hope this phone interview answers some of the questions you have. If you are at all concerned about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, you MUST listen to this conversation." .................


Podcast Link:

Interview with my dad


Blog Page:


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:09 | 1045258 dkny
dkny's picture

I wonder if these buildings were designed for the top to blow away in the even of a buildup of super heated gas, thus protecting the reactor itself to some degree.

My father, with experience in the chemical industry, mentioned that in that industry by design there are point of failures designed for the release of excessive pressure, as you don't want the energy to build up and then end up with a catastrophic release.

So, it probably blew up as it did by design.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:42 | 1045742 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

Yup.  Those are blow out panels.  Designed to prevent excessive internal (seconday containment) pressure.  If I recall correctly, it is between 8 and 15 psid that they are designed to "pop".  I also recall them being chained so as not to become missile hazards.  Those panels appear to be gone - not hanging and swinging in the wind as a result of a passing tornado (been there, done that).

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:09 | 1045814 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

They did not pop. They were exploded horizontally for hundreds of feet. Watch the video. Worse, you can see some of the steel structure missing and blown away as well as the entire roof structure, truss system and all. Plus the overhead crane is gone, either up and away or more likely down.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:33 | 1045861 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

I'm not so sure the crane is gone; take a closer look at the track (it is there, well, both tracks since the crane needs two actual tracks, one on each side. Hint: First look at the sketch to get an  idea of the track position) and follow it to the right kinda - looks like it might be at the right, or far side (from us) of the track. Oh yeah; some experience interpreting photo recon info on this end as well ..

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 17:13 | 1047168 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Take a look at the beam the crane runs on and follow it to the right. It suddenly dips down at an angle. And I do have schematic and mechanical drawing drafting and reading experience as well as architectural.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 19:59 | 1045249 Kaiser Zose
Kaiser Zose's picture

Ned - if the top of the Reactor Bldg was blown away...the spent fuel pool is now possibly exposed to atmosphere.  Who knows what the integrity of the pool is...this pool has to be kept cooled to avoid problems with the spent fuel...which is probably pretty full as its a 40 yr old Rx and I don't think they use dry cask storage.  It takes days to boil off the spent fuel pool and there's usually 20+ feet of water on top of the fuel.  Unlikely they have cooling to the pool.  That's easier to flood with seawater though - just dump a fire hose in and start filling with ocean water.  Corrosion problems later are the least of their concerns.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:16 | 1045265 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

Found this: Reactor Details

Daiichi, Plant No. 1

Daini, Plant No. 2

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 21:34 | 1045351 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Dude.  You're on fire today.  Don't know how you're keeping up with any of it.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 21:56 | 1045385 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

KZ, yep, 'cept I don't think the spent fuel is kept above the reactor.  Gets moved and as you say, one could put a garden hose (was done at Browns Ferry BWR during their fire/thang back when) to get water where needed.

Spent fuel gets moved to its own special swimming pool--like the one that madeline albright talked about w/DPRK reactors spent fuel.  Then, well, it sits until all of the energetic halfs be energetic.

And I agree--corrosion is nay concern since the puppy is a) skoshi MWe and b) at end of design life.  OK, I gotta' say this: "Death Panel has decided to Sacrifice Daiichi-1 unit for the economic benefit of TEPCO and the Japanese economy."

same-same gee-eye.

[ed. you can see refuelling tramway in sketch lower right hand corner-rectangular thingie]

- Ned

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:46 | 1045752 zhandax
zhandax's picture

Ned, I lived about 30 miles from Brown's Ferry when they had their little 'Nuclear Disaster by Candlelight' (what they called it on the Huntsville news that night) and they did cool it with the equivalent of a garden hose (5/8" pipe).  This means my garden faucet could cool one of these reactors in a dire emergency and TEPCO can't even manage that at three separate cores.  I will wager there has been a whole lot of arguing in the boardroom the last 24 hours about trying to save the 'investment' as opposed to securing public safety.  The roof explosion forced them to defer to public safety on the first core, and if no better alternatives appear and no one in the boardroom looses their shit (better likelihood in Japan than in the US), they will probably turn the saltwater pumps on the other two.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:48 | 1045754 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"KZ, yep, 'cept I don't think the spent fuel is kept above the reactor."

At the two BWR's I worked at in the past (Brunswick/Hatch) the fuel pools were indeed located at the upper level of the secondary containment building.  That made refueling go much faster - no upenders and transfer tubes to worry with.  You used only one refueling platform from the reactor vessel, through the "cattle chute" and then to the SFP.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:02 | 1045798 Kaiser Zose
Kaiser Zose's picture

Yes the SFP is a bit above the Rx Vessel...someone posted a diagram of a GE BWR Mk I (?) Rx Bldg in this thread on p1 if i recall correctly.  It shows location of the SFP relative to the Rx and it is slightly above.  At least the top of the SFP is a bit above the Rx.  In refueling the Rx cavity is flooded to equalize level between the pool and and Rx to that the refueling machine can be used to move fuel between the two...So I think that the level of the top of the SFP is essentially open to atmosphere now.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:59 | 1046009 Odd Ball
Odd Ball's picture

Great photos, CD.  I would say that those after-the-blast images are the real thing.  They match exactly my speculations several hours ago about the crane bay blowing off.  The crane looks as though it is still there - parked at the far end.  It runs on the two heavier beams that don't match up with the framework of beams that supported the metal cladding.  In a post further below you can see remnants of the cladding on the roof of another building.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:40 | 1044304 Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson's picture

Dang it, AG. Now ya did it...

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:52 | 1044500 AG BCN
AG BCN's picture

Thats better, ya back, ready to guide us through the next correction.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:09 | 1044330 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture


Twitter – Real Time Updates:

Twitter #earthquake: Twitter #earthquake
Twitter #japan: Twitter #japan:


Twitter #tsunami: Twitter #tsunami

Google Crisis Response – Japan Earthquake 2011:

 Google Crisis Response – Japan Earthquake

Japan Earthquake – Real-Time Map:

Earthquake – Real-Time Map: Earthquake – Real-Time Map

Seismic Monitor: Seismic Monitor


Japan Tsunami – YouTube:

YouTube #tsunami: YouTube #tsunami
YouTube AFP: YouTube AFP

YouTube Citizentube: YouTube Citizentube


( Showing video images of reactor after it had blow up - inside )------TBS News i Japan Live: TBS News i Japan Live

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 15:13 | 1044799 malikai
malikai's picture

Great links!

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 16:00 | 1044897 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

• Urgent: Cooling system fails at the Fukushima No. 2 plant •

TOKYO, March 12, Kyodo

The cooling system failed at three reactors of the quake-hit Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant Saturday, the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The company, which has already scrambled to deal with radiation leaks at its Fukushima No. 1 plant, notified the industry ministry that the failsafe system at the No. 2 plant stopped functioning as the temperature of coolant water has topped 100 C.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:54 | 1044348 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Pray indeed Turd. Genie's out of the lamp and we are all actors and spectators in equal measure. 

There is no end well to this because there is no end to this.

Such a charged time, a time to make big moves with agility.

Awesome and it's coming to all of us.

Pray and re-member.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:18 | 1044410 Yardfarmer
Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:01 | 1044651 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Salt water burns ... releasing Chlorine gas, killing scientist.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 15:44 | 1044862 DeeDeeTwo
DeeDeeTwo's picture

This could be the end of Japanese civilization... just like the Gulf Spill of 2010 relegted the American Republic to the dustbin of history.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:22 | 1044252 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

Your key operative words are "thus far."

But I'm encouraged... I certainly believe experts like the deputy director of the Chernobyl nuclear safety centre.  

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:39 | 1044300 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Never the less, if I would live there, my bags would be packed and I would be on a plane out with my family.

I would see no reason to risk it and stay.

Safety first.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:42 | 1044313 cosmictrainwreck
cosmictrainwreck's picture

good luck with: a) getting to airport and b) getting on a plane and c) taking off

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:49 | 1044329 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture


money helps, everything is for sale ;)

And why not by boat?

I would be out. Believe you me.


To those who looked to the footage of the explosion: that was a supersonic boom that proceeded the explosion. This will have damaged the entire strucuture.

Don't forget this was in the olded reator on the site. They where build in the 70's and have a lifetime of 30 to max 35 years because the radiation makes the concrete and the metal to wear much faster.

They where building 2 new reactors to replace that one. Why would that be you think?


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:02 | 1044360 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

by Sudden Debt  on Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:49 #1044329 
To those who looked to the footage of the explosion: that was a supersonic boom that proceeded the explosion.

- - - - - - - - -

What, exactly, are you saying?


B-1's swooped in? (Going 'truther' on us?)





Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:14 | 1044401 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

I'm sure this is a very modern plant with well trained people, the Japanese tend to be very diligent in technical matters...

However, the first degree on the scale I use to measure explosions at nuclear power plants is; "Oh fuck!".. so it's all relative.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:22 | 1044423 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Famous last words.  

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 19:12 | 1045174 Breaker
Breaker's picture

I think the reactor was about 40 years old and scheduled for decommissioning soon.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:12 | 1044671 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

During the Three Mile Island debacle, my family had the car gassed up, packed and we were ready to bug out in case things went seriously wrong.  I'm with all those who feel that discretion is the better part of valor and that being a year early is far better than being 10 seconds late. 

Having said that - I really don't trust any official to say:  "Folks, it's time get the fk out of Dodge!"  They were downplaying Chernobyl for months.  Accordingly, I think we're all going to have to "interpolate" here a little.  I don't think there was any conspiracy - but that was a big fucking explosion.  That building was concrete and all that's left is the reinforcing skeleton.  I'm going to assume that there is major damage inside consistant with the outside and that radiation has been, and will continue to be released. 

Just ordered up some more IOSAT to supplement our stash if we make the decision that prophilactic measures are warranted - and I suggest that anyone else in the path do the same - if it's still available. 

We'll be watching the wind and pulling out the dosimeters this afternoon...

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:35 | 1044728 Armchair Bear
Armchair Bear's picture

My doctor's son is in Japan.

He phoned and told my doctor that the core melted down. ??




Sat, 03/12/2011 - 15:18 | 1044804 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

The image is fake.

If anyone is concerned about potential fall out, you can follow the jet stream forcast here and here which were provided in older posts/threads.



Sat, 03/12/2011 - 16:03 | 1044907 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture


"They where build in the 70's and have a lifetime of 30 to max 35 years because the radiation makes the concrete and the metal to wear much faster."

40 years in commission this month.  This unit built in '60s and '70-71.  Design life back then was 40 years.  Most U.S. and French units have had license extended to 60 years, current thinking is that 80 years might be possible.  There are neutron embrittlement issues with concrete, vessels can go that whole life, smaller vessels (e.g. PWR steam generators/pressurizers) get replaced periodically.  No "wear" per se. 

They are building two ABWRs at the site.  Why would that be?  ABWR is rated at 1369 MWe with a smaller work force needed.  In Japan, they use electricity.  Did I mention that the plant is 40 years old?

- Ned

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:03 | 1044365 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

"Safety first"

funny that's the same argument used to justify the proliferation of cctv, domestic surveillance drones, tsa scanners, patriot act etc.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:17 | 1044406 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

Refer to my nuclear power plant explosion scale above for the appropriate response to the situation.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:57 | 1044349 Capt. Ray
Capt. Ray's picture

So let me get it straight; I just saw the thing just blew up… but that’s ok …?! Two days of cooling; and all be swell?!

Good luck with that %)

...yep, at Chernobyl the cooling sys blew up first, here I saw a 10 story building blew up first...

(disclaimer; i'm NOT an expert!)


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:07 | 1044382 Going Loco
Going Loco's picture

I don't think you have to be an expert to know that when a catastrophic explosion destroys the cladding of the containment building of a nuclear reactor something is not quite right. On the other hand some scientific shill probably will appear on CNN to explain that the containment building was designed to behave like that, and did exactly what it was supposed to do, and all is well.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 13:40 | 1044601 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Funny, some scientific shills told me the same thing about WTC.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 18:49 | 1044912 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

I wonder which generated more destructive force?  The Fukushima reactor explosion or a commercial aircraft impacting the WTC? 

Curious thing.  If it was the reactor explosion that was more forceful -- the steel girder framework stood strong through that terrible event. 

Whereas the WTC south tower: 

I know.  Someone will pipe up and say all that heat weakens steel.

Yea, I know.  Thermite gets pretty hot. 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 19:06 | 1045160 naughtius maximus
naughtius maximus's picture

In all seriousness though when I watched the video of the swaying Tokyo towers my first though was "wait a minute, these towers are taking a force greater than that of a _thermonucler_ explosion yet they are still standing while the WTC were downed by a few thousand gallons of kerosene". WTC 7 wasn't even hit by the plane but it collapsed nice and neatly. American's are either stupid because they cannot engineer shit, or they are stupid because they believe everything the government and media tells them.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 19:48 | 1045235 fragrantdingleberry
fragrantdingleberry's picture

Are you saying the WTC was actually brought down by an earthquake?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:43 | 1045513 naughtius maximus
naughtius maximus's picture

Well in a way you've proven my argument. I'd explain why but you wouldn't understand, obviously.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:56 | 1044350 Capt. Ray
Capt. Ray's picture

So let me get it straight; I just saw the thing just blew up… but that’s ok …?! Two days of cooling; and all be swell?!

Good luck with that %)

...yep, at Chernobyl the cooling sys blew up first, here I saw a 10 story building blew up first...

(disclaimer; i'm NOT an expert!)


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:36 | 1044456 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Right Ray.




The core was involved in the explosion at Chernoubyl ... so how does that now compare to what is happening now?


A little bit of reading can go a long way to curing igno .. well anyway, here is a link:


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:07 | 1044375 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

A big part of what made Chernobyl worse was the refusal of the soviet leadership acknowledge reality and to take appropriate action.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:35 | 1044726 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

they sent firemen right away to put out the 'fire' and then told the second crew that no need to bring equipment, it will be waiting for you there...   standard soviet practice

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:13 | 1044398 ibjamming
ibjamming's picture

They blew the building...  Most likely the only way to get massive amounts of water in there to keep the pile cooled.  It's my guess anyway...

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:34 | 1044452 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

a "controlled implosion?"

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:58 | 1044513 covert
covert's picture

didn't know that there were any reactors in japan. the mb wants a reactor, but, they couldn't be smart enough to use it. we have two and aren't giving them up.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 13:19 | 1044550 Zeroexperience2010
Zeroexperience2010's picture

Looks like radiation leaked is dropping:


man, this was an easy captcha!

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:22 | 1044695 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Maybe because all the radioactive material just went into the atmosphere?...

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:37 | 1044734 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

spraying corexit will be good enough

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 15:09 | 1044791 Blankman
Blankman's picture

LMAO!!!  I'm with you DP.  Fuck it.  Lets just go spray some Corexit on it!!!! 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 19:07 | 1045163 naughtius maximus
naughtius maximus's picture

Don't celebrate with fireworks. Don't want to kill any birds now...

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 16:01 | 1044899 falak pema
falak pema's picture

This new report contradicts the previous one indicating that the core had melted. ZH seams to have jumped the gun on the info. But events are still not clear to know if meltdown has occurred and is being denied or if melt down is still being fought by this incredible news about "sea water" cooling of reactor core which is unbelievable to say the least from a technical viewpoint. It means they have "boot jacked" this solution on the spot will all the incredible bravado, sacrifice, and ingenious "hands on engineering" that such a feat implies. Mind boggling, heart pumping, soul searing.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 16:30 | 1044945 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

So the ever expanding evacuation area and the hundreds in the hospital from radiation exposure are also a result of TD jumping the gun?

Still a bit early to be making any calls on anything.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 16:47 | 1044974 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

True but because it's such a small country the impact could be as bad.  Fortunately there is no country just east of them...until the U.S.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 18:10 | 1045083 sushi
sushi's picture

When they increase the evacuation zone to 3,000 km we better start getting suspicious.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 16:50 | 1044981 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Sumpin screwy goin on with posts

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:19 | 1045271 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

TD. For the love of God, please start a new thread.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:34 | 1045284 Begbie
Begbie's picture

I'll bet Kyle Bass is loving this whole tsunami disaster in Japan. He's been short Japan for a while now, and his bet should pay off a lot faster now.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:46 | 1044143 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

yeah....  Throw water on it!  Just like Chernobyl. 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:45 | 1044145 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Natural dissasters are a 'god send' for GDP numbers, this could be the turning point in the 20 years of deflation saga

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:52 | 1044166 hampsterwheel
hampsterwheel's picture

GDP numbers are not an real indicator of wealth creation. If this really would be "beneficial" to an economy then each nation would be destroying parts of its country so as to illicit growth...


Just like people that say WWII was good for the economy - so buiding ships and then sending them out to the ocean and sinking them may create jobs but it diminishes real wealth...

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:30 | 1044265 Patricidal Son
Patricidal Son's picture

The function of ritual sacrifice, whether magical religious ritual or mana charged military mega machines, is not econimic expansion or wealth creation, but self expansion through righteousness. The ritual destruction of accumulated wealth is a mechanism for self renewal.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:29 | 1044438 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Start at home.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:41 | 1044311 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

What, printing more worthless paper to cover the expenses will be beneficial? Afraid not. And there are plenty of post-earthquake economic results around. None of them were beneficial in the aftermath. Long term was dependent on the global economy. Reconstruction is rarely beneficial. 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:12 | 1044388 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

This logic is not as flawed as you people might think, if you have a house for example that stands 50 years no1 will bother to tare it down and build a new prettier/efficient house in it's place but when an earthquake levels it people don't have a choice but to rebuild, so a limited amount of destruction can be a positive thing, of course if you build in the path of a tornado or a river delta or slope of a volcano you should not be surprised to see your work destroyed at regular intervals(that's just stupid)

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:31 | 1044447 buzzard
buzzard's picture

Creative destruction? Familiar ring to that.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 13:12 | 1044537 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Creative destruction?

Yeah, similar to planned obsolescence.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 13:02 | 1044521 Barefooted_Tramp
Barefooted_Tramp's picture we can produce more than we can consume, destruction (war) becomes the key industry.

No more prayers for 'our daily bread': The bread has to pray for 'daily eaters'.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:18 | 1044688 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Nature does it all the time, a hurricane will uproot all the weak trees in the forest and 1 year later all the freed up space will quickly be filled with new life, or a bush fire scorches a savanna and after the next rain season you will have an endless flower field, don't threat destruction it's part of a healthy life

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:35 | 1045283 flapdoodle
flapdoodle's picture

Broken window fallacy.


The only way this could be framed as 'creative destruction' is if it generates a change in consciousness in the Japanese that leads them to pull themselves out of their 20 year rut *in spite* of the additional and considerable burden they will be saddled with...

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:39 | 1044464 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture


"Natural dissasters are a 'god send' for GDP numbers,..."

... er ... Broken Window Fallacy?  This will he'p ya:

- Ned


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:47 | 1044147 ZeroPower
ZeroPower's picture

This is good news - experts say there is no chance of a Chernobyl now, and the radiation to be contained. Time will tell - but at least better news than what i woke up to this morning a few hours ago (i.e. black smoke huffing from the plant).

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:51 | 1044160 Cursive
Cursive's picture

As a rule, I don't consider any government official of any nation to be credible.  What they say could be true, but not necessarily.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:01 | 1044186 fuu
fuu's picture


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 13:51 | 1044625 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Who wouldn't hate to take the torch from Russia for 'biggest nuclear disaster ever'?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:29 | 1044272 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

Its only a small fire...

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 13:56 | 1044638 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Flesh wounds never heal unless the inflicted eats perfectly and exercises profusely.  The average human is far below capacity now.  DMT production and thusly HGH production could double for humans if nutrition was allowed.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:29 | 1044442 snowball777
snowball777's picture

What you say could be true, but not necessarily.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:00 | 1044650 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Its just a flesh wound!


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:56 | 1045314 Natasha Fatale
Natasha Fatale's picture

Remember when Christine Todd Whitman (as head of the EPA) appeared in NYC post 9/ 11 to declare that the toxins released by the attacks posed no threat?

The Japanese are following the same playbook to avoid mass panic. Sad but true.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:02 | 1044190 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Funny that - they were all holding empty iodine ampules as they said it...

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:25 | 1044255 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:56 | 1044345 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

"Radiation levels have fallen since the explosion and there is no immediate danger"

I call bullshit on this!  1015mSv would be 101.5 rem/hour!  This is in point of fact a deadly dose.  Unless those funny looking suits are made of solid lead (They are not) they offer ZERO protection.  Neither do the gas masks.  Maximum permissable annual dose of radiation to the general public is .1 REM per year.  Radiation workers are 5 REM /Year.

God help those in Japan.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:02 | 1044361 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Read a little more closely. 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:07 | 1044374 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

wuups, you're right.  should be .1015/rem/hour.  Still bad.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:31 | 1044720 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

And based on the assumption that we are being told the truth.  Time will tell.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 20:08 | 1045257 Royal Wulff
Royal Wulff's picture

Duh, nevermind

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 12:51 | 1044499 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

In cases such as this expect the public announcements and explanations from "authorities" to be two or three steps behind the actual events. In a strange dance played by people who wish to cover up or diminish bad news, as events progress what was previously considered to be too explosive to be admitted to is now considered acceptable because circumstances have become even worse.

Often the authorities are themselves in denial about the severity of the problem and they are bargaining with themselves as to what to tell the public. This is why we often find out after the fact that things were much worse much earlier than we were told. Some of it is cover up, some outright denial and bargaining.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 13:35 | 1044542 benb
benb's picture

Yep, standard government procedure... You got to ease the peasants into the saddle so they can acclimate without going into shock or panicking. There is no good news coming out of this event. I hope it doesn’t but I would place a modest bet that the situation will get much worse… Almost time to start monitoring the Jet Stream and read the instructions on my potassium iodine tablets.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 13:47 | 1044613 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Yep, standard government procedure...

- - - - - - - - -

Standard procedure in ANY hierarchal organization ... from whence 'up the chain of command' comes from ... no need for Rense to understand that ...


(IOW:When was the last time the line workers held a presser?)



Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:01 | 1044655 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Well said, the both of yas.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 13:39 | 1044598 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

Very true, Well said. 


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 15:38 | 1044851 malikai
malikai's picture

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 18:40 | 1045132 ZeroPower
ZeroPower's picture

Pretty much called it CD - seems like the other reactor is having issues now... 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 15:05 | 1044783 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

This is indeed good news for humanity.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:46 | 1044148 working class dog
working class dog's picture

What do you expect the government to say if they give up all chaos will break loose. They will have to cheer lead just like Baghdad Bob did in Iraq or th Nazi propganda lied to their own people aboout the Russian front failures. Pray that there is no radiation leaks especially into the water table.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:50 | 1044154 max2205
max2205's picture

It's all good but why are my eyes bleeding!?

Spin bitcheeeezes

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:48 | 1044325 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

"The good news continues to be that air samples we have taken have all been at levels that cause no concern." EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman, 9/16/2001


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:52 | 1044157 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

This is relatively good news.

I hope.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:49 | 1044158 UninterestedObserver
UninterestedObserver's picture

LOL "this is good news" wow a news story that says everything is under control, we hear the same BS everyday.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:49 | 1044161 max2205
max2205's picture

Just when they get the whole mercury thing past them

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:50 | 1044162 Cursive
Cursive's picture


"June 13" should be "March 13".

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:52 | 1044164 max2205
max2205's picture

AIG is involved here I bet

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:15 | 1044232 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

They probably sold Goldman a couple quadrillion dollars of insurance against a meltdown that, as part of a bailout, working people of Wisconsin will have to cover.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:54 | 1044168 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

A prayer for the engineers and workers flooding that reactor:

May good fortune smile upon you.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:53 | 1044170 OpenEyes
OpenEyes's picture

Seems to me that they are trying to keep people calm by downplaying the damage (and the danger).  But what do I know, I'm no expert.  It's just that the official 'spin' seems out of synch with the images, the evacuations etc.  

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:55 | 1044172 hampsterwheel
hampsterwheel's picture

Dow up 200 on Monday due to radiation containment - if they cannot contain the radiation - Dow up 250 due to profits in big pharm'a,

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:58 | 1044179 Robert Neville
Robert Neville's picture

Sad but true.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:00 | 1044173 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture


Jeremy Webb, editor-in-chief and Rowan Hooper, news editor


Details are emerging of the explosion at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima on the east coast of Japan, 240 kilometres north of Tokyo.

The blast blew off the outer concrete shell of a building housing one of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi (number 1) nuclear power station, leaving behind a skeleton of metalwork. Four workers are reported to have been injured at the site and radiation is leaking into the environment. Japanese authorities have extended the evacuation zone around the plant to 20 kilometres.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a press briefing that the pressure vessel that houses the radioactive core of the plant is intact, and that a large amount of radiation leakage is not expected. He said that radiation is remaining at a low level. The Japanese news agency Kyodo earlier reported levels of 1050 micro Sieverts - within Japanese national safety levels - around the explosion at the Fukushima 1 reactor building.

Edano announced that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which runs the Fukushima facility, will be allowed to use sea water to cool the reactor down.

The cause of the explosion is still unclear, but suggestions include a build up steam released from the reactor cooling system or by the ignition of hydrogen gas. That hydrogen could have been liberated by water "cracking" in the ultra high temperatures in the reactor.

Trouble at Daiichi began on March 11, when the earthquake struck offshore, northeast of Fukushima. The plant tripped out immediately, as it's designed to do, shutting down the chain reaction in the core.

The reactors at the Daiichi station are boiling water reactors built by US company GE in the 1960s. Water passes up through the core, turning into steam, which powers the turbines to generate electricity. The steam is then cooled and pumped back into the core.

When the reactor trips out, water needs to keep circulating to remove residual heat in the core. But, according to TEPCO, an hour after the earthquake, the diesel engines running the cooling system failed. This led to evaporation of water in the core and a build up of steam in the pressure vessel.

TEPCO managed this by releasing the steam from the pressure vessel into the large surrounding building. This appears to be the building that has exploded.

If heat continues to build up in the core, there is a

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!