March 13, 2011

Following Japan’s nuclear plant emergency and earthquake aftermath, this page will continue to monitor the ongoing situation, and will include added content as we know more.

Tracking Page: Japan's Nuclear Meltdown, Aftershocks & Fallout

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Fears of second explosion at quake-hit N-plant as exclusion zone stretches to 13 miles

UK Daily Mail
March 13, 2011

Japan’s nuclear crisis was growing today amid the threat of multiple meltdowns, as more than 170,000 people were evacuated from the quake- and tsunami-savaged northeastern coast where police fear more than 10,000 people may have already died.

As the exclusion zone around the facility was widened to more than 13 miles today, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said that a hydrogen explosion could occur at Unit 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, the reactor that could be melting down.

Crowded shelters expose scale of disaster

Financial Times
March 13, 2011

The enormity of the humanitarian crisis facing Japan became apparent on Sunday evening as nearly 300,000 people left homeless and dazed by the earthquake and tsunami bedded down in makeshift emergency shelters in the Miyagi and Iwate prefectures.

Temperatures dropped to near-freezing and, with no electricity in much of the region, survivors in more remote areas were struggling without heat, food and, in some cases, clean water. Telephone networks remained disrupted, hampering efforts to account for more than 90,000 people.

Nuclear Plant Designer Says Japanese Government Suppressing Scale Of Crisis

BBC News
Sunday, March 13, 2011

A former nuclear power plant designer has said Japan is facing an extremely grave crisis and called on the government to release more information, which he said was being suppressed. Masashi Goto told a news conference in Tokyo that one of the reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant was “highly unstable”, and that if there was a meltdown the “consequences would be tremendous”. He said such an event might be very likely indeed. So far, the government has said a meltdown would not lead to a sizeable leak of radioactive materials.

Volcano in southern Japan erupts

Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Los Angeles Times
March 13, 2011

The Shinmoedake volcano on Japan’s Kyushu island, after lying dormant for a couple of weeks, resumes activity in a blast heard miles away. It was unclear if the eruption was linked to Friday’s massive earthquake in the north.

The Japanese weather agency has reported that a volcano in southern Japan began spewing ash and rock even as the country struggled to recover Sunday from the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

“Worst Crisis Since WWII”

Joe Weisenthal
Business Insider
March 13, 2011

Forget the idea that the impact from the earthquake will resemble that of Kobe in 1995 (where economic damage totaled around $100 billion).

Japanese PM Naoto Kan just addressed the nation, and called this the country’s worst crisis since WWII.

Cabinet Chief Edano also spoke. Among his comments (via Time Out Tokyo):

* There wil be rolling blackouts around the country. Tokyo will be included.
* At reactor #3, there’s still not an adequate water reading, but it may be a problem with the gauge.
* Admittedly the food response has been inadequate, but it’s getting solved.

Insured losses from Japan quake could hit $35 billion

March 13, 2011

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Last week’s earthquake in Japan could lead to insured losses of nearly $35 billion, risk modeling company AIR Worldwide said, making it one of the most expensive catastrophes in history.

That figure is nearly as much as the entire worldwide catastrophe loss for the global insurance industry in 2010, and could be the triggering event that forces higher prices in the insurance market after years of declines.

AIR said its loss estimate range was $14.5 billion to $34.6 billion. That was based on a range of 1.2 trillion yen to 2.8 trillion yen, converted at 81.85 yen to the dollar.

Cooling at Sixth Reactor Fails

Kyodo News
March 13, 2011

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday another reactor of its quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plants had lost its cooling functions, while at least 15 people at a nearby hospital were found to have been exposed to radioactivity.

The utility supplier notified the government early Sunday morning that the No. 3 reactor at the No. 1 Fukushima plant had lost the ability to cool the reactor core. The reactor is now in the process of releasing radioactive steam, according to top government spokesman Yukio Edano.

Japan death toll expected to soar past 10,000; nuclear threat looms amid massive blackouts

NY Daily News
March 13, 2011

The death toll from Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami on Friday is expected to exceed 10,000, Japanese news services announced Sunday.

There are already 1,300 confirmed dead and 10,000 people are missing in just one town.

About 190 people were within a six-mile radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant when its roof blew off Saturday, raising radiation levels rose. Officials have confirmed 22 people have been contaminated.

Monster aftershock could strike within days

Sydney Morning Herald
March 13, 2011

NORTH-EASTERN Japan can expect another monster earthquake large enough to trigger a tsunami within days, the head of the Australian Seismological Centre says.

The director, Kevin McCue, said there had been more than 100 smaller quakes since Friday, but a larger aftershock was likely.

”Normally they happen within days,” he said. ”The rule of thumb is that you would expect the main aftershock to be one magnitude smaller than the main shock, so you would be expecting a 7.9.


Japan races to avert multiple nuclear meltdowns

Associated Press
March 13, 2011

(AP:KORIYAMA, Japan) Japan’s nuclear crisis intensified Sunday as authorities raced to combat the threat of multiple reactor meltdowns and more than 170,000 people evacuated the quake- and tsunami-savaged northeastern coast where fears spread over possible radioactive contamination.

Nuclear plant operators were frantically trying to keep temperatures down in a series of nuclear reactors _ including one where officials feared a partial meltdown could be happening Sunday _ to prevent the disaster from growing worse.

Radiation Increases as Cooling Systems Fail at Fukushima Plant in Japan

Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada
March 13, 2011

Japanese officials battling to prevent a potential meltdown at a nuclear power station said an explosion was possible at a second reactor building after the plant’s cooling system failed.

Water levels temporarily fell at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant 135 miles north of Tokyo, raising the possibility of a hydrogen explosion, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said in Tokyo today.

Asia’s largest utility is battling to prevent a meltdown of two reactors at the nuclear power station by flooding them with water and boric acid to eliminate the potential for a catastrophic release of radiation into the atmosphere.

Japan Fears Second Reactor Blast

BBC News
Sunday, March 13, 2011

There is a risk of a second explosion at the quake-hit Fukushima power station, Japanese officials have said.

However, chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said the facility could withstand the impact and the nuclear reactor itself would not be damaged.

Another reactor at Fukushima nuke plant loses cooling functions

Kyodo News
March 13, 2011

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday another reactor of its quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plants had lost its cooling functions, while at least 15 people at a nearby hospital were found to have been exposed to radioactivity.

The utility supplier notified the government early Sunday morning that the No. 3 reactor at the No. 1 Fukushima plant had lost the ability to cool the reactor core. The reactor is now in the process of releasing radioactive steam, according to top government spokesman Yukio Edano.

U.S. West Coast in Path of Fallout

“If There Were a Reactor Meltdown or Major Leak at Fukushima, the Radioactive Cloud Would Likely be Blown Out … Towards the US West Coast”

Washington’s Blog
March 13, 2011

Agence-France Presse notes:

California is closely monitoring efforts to contain leaks from a quake-damaged Japanese nuclear plant, a spokesman said Saturday, as experts said radiation could be blown out across the Pacific.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Image source: Wikimedia commons

Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet; shifted Earth’s axis

Ken Voigt
March 12, 2011

The powerful earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami Friday appears to have moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet (2.4 meters) and shifted the Earth on its axis.

“At this point, we know that one GPS station moved (8 feet), and we have seen a map from GSI (Geospatial Information Authority) in Japan showing the pattern of shift over a large area is consistent with about that much shift of the land mass,” said Kenneth Hudnut, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Tsunami warning center raises magnitude of Japan quake to 9.1

Ken Kobayahshi
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
March 12, 2011

The Japan earthquake was the fourth most powerful ever recorded with a magnitude of 9.1, twice more powerful than the initial estimate of 8.9, Gerard Fryer, geophysicist of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said this morning.

Three others that were more powerful since the late 1800s when seismometers started measuring ground motions were in 9.5 in Chile in 1960, 9.2 in Alaska in 1964 and 9.1 in Sumatra in 2004, according to Fryer.

NOAA – Magnitude 8.9 Strong Earthquake Jolts Northern Japan
NOAA - Magnitude 8.9 Strong Earthquake Jolts Northern Japan

In this handout image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), model runs from the Center for Tsunami Research at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory show the expected wave heights of the tsunami as it travels across the Pacific basin March 11, 2011. The largest wave heights are expected near the earthquake epicenter, off Japan. The wave will decrease in height as it travels across the deep Pacific but grow taller as it nears coastal areas. In general, as the energy of the wave decreases with distance, the near shore heights will also decrease (e.g., coastal Hawaii will not expect heights of that encountered in coastal Japan).


Nuclear Radiation, Fallout Safety Information


Message from Infowars:

As always, we should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

It is admitted that the first plant has melted down, and 6 more nuclear power plants in Japan are in danger. If they fail, this situation could get even worse. Japanese authorities are distributing potassium iodide to its population for thyroid protection.

For U.S. populations, we can hope that most of the radiation will disperse into the ocean and never reach us, however, with the U.S. West Coast in the direct path of the jet stream from Japan, it is a good precaution to stock up on potassium iodide or natural iodine from kelp, which can prevent the absorption of radioactive iodine, the most common complication from radiation poisoning. Consult with your doctor or medical professional before taking these or any supplement (we are NOT giving medical advice). However, unfortunately, we cannot count on the government to be honest and upfront with us about the dangers of fallout, so you should consider your own potential risks and don’t wait until things are already underway.

Try these Google shopping links or check your local stores for iodine from kelp and potassium iodide. Check Wikipedia and other sources for more info on the safety of potassium iodide and recommended doses.

Cooling at Sixth Reactor Fails
Nuclear Plant Designer Says Japanese Government Suppressing Scale Of Crisis
Japan Fears Second Reactor Blast

Radiation protection

Wikipedia – Potassium iodate may be used to protect against accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid by saturating the body with a stable source of iodine prior to exposure.[1] Approved by the World Health Organization for radiation protection, potassium iodate (KIO3) is an alternative to potassium iodide (KI), which has poor shelf life in hot and humid climates.[2] The UK, Ireland, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and US states Idaho and Utah are known[by whom?] to stock potassium iodate in tablet form.[citation needed] It is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a thyroid blocker, and the FDA has taken action against US websites that promote this use.[3][4]

***It is recommended that you consult your physician or a medical expert prior to usage

Recommended Dosage for Radiological Emergencies involving radioactive iodine[5]

Age KI in mg KIO3 in mg
Over 12 years old 130 170
3 – 12 years old 65 85
1 – 36 months old 32 42
16 21

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