The latest news from Fukushima continue progressing from bad to worse. Which of course means that the (physical) silver lining around the mushroom cloud will be that much more potent: after all, the greater the destruction, the higher the Russell 2000. Just ask the Keynesians.
- FUKUSHIMA REACTOR VESSEL MAY HAVE STUCK VALVE, UCS SAYS
- TEPCO FINDS POOLED WATER AT ALL FOUR TROUBLED REACTORS: KYODO
- INCREASED RADIATION RELEASE FROM FUKUSHIMA POSSIBLE, UCS SAYS
This in turn has prompted the Japanese government to increase the "voluntary" evacuation radius from 20 to 30 kms, finally. Shortly, this will be 80. But not before many more innocent people are irradiated and sacrificed at the altar of Nikkei 10,000 (and RUT 36,000).
The Japanese government on Friday encouraged people living within 20 to 30 kilometers of the troubled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture to leave voluntarily, citing concerns over access to daily necessities, while maintaining its directive for them to remain indoors and for residents within 20 km of the plant to evacuate.
The government asked heads of affected municipalities to encourage people to voluntarily move farther away, promising to provide its full support in helping them to relocate, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.
But he stopped short of declaring an evacuation advisory to avoid fanning fears about the increasing danger of radiation leaks, despite criticism from concerned municipalities and local residents of the central government's ''slow response'' over the evacuation instruction.
On a possible new directive from the government, Edano said the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan is looking into the possibility of whether an evacuation directive can be issued on the basis of living conditions rather than safety concerns. Evacuation directives to date have all been linked to concerns about radiation levels.
In a televised message to the public, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said his government is basing its decisions regarding evacuation advisories on the judgment of nuclear experts mainly from the commission.
The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, a government panel, also recommended voluntary evacuation the same day for residents 20 to 30 km from the Fukushima Daiichi complex, saying the release of radioactive materials from the plant is expected to continue for some time.
Bearing in mind the shortage of supplies for people stuck indoors within the 30-km radius, the government had been looking into possibly extending its evacuation range but, according to a government source, decided against it because expanding the directive simply because of living conditions would ''cause confusion.''
The government is not planning at the moment to expand the designated exclusion zone, Edano said, noting there has been no fresh information about the levels of radiation since the government issued its directives.
With many affected residents already voluntarily evacuating from around the plant and more wanting to follow, Edano said it is ''preferable'' for people to leave of their own accord, given the difficulties they are encountering in their daily lives.
In the meantime, now that Tokyo has neither running nor bottled water, those particular 14 million residents are certainly giving a long hard look at at the voluntary evacuation option themselves. Which will be GDP bullish.