There’s more fallout today from that massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked Japan on Friday.
Authorities have now begun evacuating everyone who lives within a 12-mile radius of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant and within a 6-mile radius of a second plant in Futuba.
An explosion rocked Fukushima after officials said that the mammoth quake had damaged the nuclear power plant’s coolant system. Four employees were injured in the large blast as they were trying to inject water into the plant’s core in an effort to cool things down.
Radiation levels have dropped since the explosion and officials say that there is no immediate danger despite the fact that the evacuation area has been widened since it occurred.
Officials must now keep an eye on the plant as an uncontrolled rise in temperatures could result in a meltdown of the uranium reactor core, although one official says that seems “unlikely” at this point.
Some experts disagree with that assessment, however.
“Any attempt to make it seem that this is not the worst case imaginable is foolhardy,” said Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Keep up with the latest on our Japan Earthquake 2011 page.
- Japan Quake: Nuclear Plant Meltdown Fears (news.sky.com)
- Japan: ‘Explosion’ Reported at Nuclear Plant North of Tokyo (time.com)