News, blog, and other items:
March 16 5AM
The steam observed rising above No.3 for hours is radioactive. It is now presumed that the containment vessel has cracked. SDF had prepared to drop water from helicopter, but could not do so safely.
March 16, 6AM
"Tests revealed traces of radiation in tap water in Fukushima city, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Daiichi nuclear plant, the local government said Wednesday. The Fukushima prefecture's nuclear department said amounts of radioactive cesium and iodine that are not harmful to the human body were found in water samples taken at 8 a.m. Wednesday (7 p.m. ET Tuesday)...
Government officials said the traces found are connected with the nuclear plant. A measurement of the tap water supply taken later in the day found no traces of iodine or cesium." -cnn live blog
March 16, 7PM
conditions at the Daiichi plant have continued to deteriorate. The greatest concern at this time is over exposed spent fuel rods at the no. 3 and 4 reactors. As of now, radiation has prohibited workers from adding water to the pools...
A road has been built to allow a water cannon truck to approach what remains of the structures. Police hope to shoot water through the holes in a last ditch effort to prevent the rods from reaching recriticality. The chance that heat being generated from these hundreds of rods (many reactors worth) will lead to nuclear reactions is very real.
March 16 9PM
SDF helicopter has dropped some water on reactor no. 3.
Radiation readings after the water-drop remain the same as before.
March 17 1AM
Tired. But staying up to watch what happens with the trucks. The Defense Secretary says this is the last effort for his forces - that after today, radiation levels in the area will be too high for them to participate. However...it is possible that the President will order their return, under law that says when other lives are at risk, occupational limits do not hold.
March 17th 8 AM
"[7:37 a.m. ET Thursday, 8:37 p.m. Thursday in Tokyo] An operation to spray water on the No. 3 nuclear reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has ended after 40 minutes, Japan's Defense Ministry says. Five fire trucks took turns spraying water for two minutes each, officials said, and there was no further spraying planned." -cnn live blog
TEPCO reports that radiation levels rose after the operation (exact rates were not given.)
"The level around the plant's administration building rose to 4,000 microsievert per hour from 3,700 after the trucks joined an unprecedented attempt to cool down the reactor's apparently overheating fuel pool, after SDF helicopters dropped tons of water earlier in the day." -kyodo news
The Defense Ministry says that choppers and trucks will be used again on Friday.
1For those of you wondering what "Ana's feed" is ... this is Analiese Miller's facebook feed. Ana has been observing live news feeds from Japan and elsewhere and jotting notes on her facebook wall. Thank you Ana.
For more information and essays about the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Reactor problems in Japan CLICK HERE.
A stray thought: Damn good thing this isn't hurricane season in the South Pacific. Japan doesn't need any more problems.
OK, I have to weigh in my two cents on this article:
"Language used to describe atomic meltdown borders on reckless hyperbole"
It's always nice to read when Americans take their own hyper-religiosity and project it onto other people.
They are especially criticising the German language without having any clue about how that sort of language is used around here.
First there's Ãttinger. To understand his whole conduct, you have to understand two things:
1st: He's an incompetent idiot.
2nd: He's kind of in an election campaign. He used to be the prime minister of Baden-Wurtemberg where he licked the ass of the (nuclear) industry for about 20 years. His successor (same party) followed his example and has lost a lot of support already during the last months over another environmental issue and has practised a style of politics that in German is called "GutsherrenmentalitÃ¤t" and which means acting like a 19th century landowner.
There's an election due in 2 weeks in Baden Wurtemberg and now there's the Japan disaster and they'Re fighting with their backs against the wall.
That's why they're desperately trying to appear as much pro-safety and anti-nukes as possible.
I was surprised to read that Sebastian Pflugbeil, president of the German-based Society for Radiation Protection is quoted that âwe are at the beginning of the catastrophic phase ... Maybe we have to pray.â I couldn't find the quote and I'm wondering what the middle-part is.
But in general: If we use biblical metaphors, we usually don't mean it. Really, I'm a home-grown atheist and you will hear me using such language on a daily basis. I told my husband that we should pray really hard now that his parents have an internet access. Doesn't mean I did or meant it seriously. There are no Pat Robertsons or Glen Becks here. No politician invokes god for every little thing or huge thing.