The Nuclear Plant at Fukushima has just reached the inner circle of hell. Level 7. (well it is Japanese and I don't read that so good - like not at all) But you can go to Zero Hedge for a general outline. Here is what they have to say.
What started as less serious than Three Mile Island has just become as serious as Chernobyl, with the Fukushima disaster assessment having been raised to the highest, Level 7. From NHK: "For a series of accidents happening at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of the Ministry of Economy, which released large amounts of radioactive substances that affect human health and the environment in a wide range As an assessment based on international standards of the accident, the worst "level seven" decided to raise. "Level 7" is the same as the evaluation occurred in the Soviet Chernobyl disaster. Nuclear Safety Agency, 12, held a press conference with the Nuclear Safety Commission has decided to publish the contents of the evaluation." Of course, due to the much greater concentration of people, and the far smaller land territory, should Japan continue to persist with "controlling" the crisis with the same success as it has over the past month, very soon a Level of 8 and/or higher may be required.In other bad news for Japan and the Fukushima reactors they are widening the exclusion zone to 40 km (about 25 miles).
As had been anticipated for weeks, and frankly is criminally overdue, Japan has announced that it will expand the evacuation zone around Fukushima to areas beyond a 20 km (12.4 mile) radius to include villages and towns that have had more accumulated radiation, Japan's chief cabinet secretary said on Monday. "These regions could accumulate 20 millisieverts or more radiation over a period of a year," Yukio Edano told a news conference, naming Iitate village, 40km from the plant, part of the city of Kawamata and other areas. The news preceded the latest major 6.6 magnitude aftershock which shook buildings in Tokyo and a wide swathe of eastern Japan on Monday evening, knocking out power to 220,000 households and causing a halt to water pumping to cool three damaged reactors at Fukushima. " The epicentre of the latest quake was 88 km (56 miles) east of the plant and stopped power supply for pumping water to cool reactors No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. The aftershock also forced engineers to postpone plans to remove highly contaminated water from a trench at reactor No. 2."The plant continues to spew radiation at about 1/10th the peak rate. But that rate has been roughly steady for weeks. So the exclusion zone may not have reached its limit.
The video is a demonstration of how the fuel rods could fail. Cheery. That. If you have missed Arnie's previous videos you can watch them here.
Early estimates are that the reactor meltdowns will cost about $130 billion. Roughly half of what the whole disaster is expected to cost.
The March 11 earthquake, the nation’s strongest on record, and tsunami left about 27,500 dead or missing, according to Japan’s National Police Agency. The government has estimated the damage at 25 trillion yen ($295 billion). Tepco may face claims of as much as 11 trillion yen, according to one estimate.Of course there is much more at the link. And none of it good.
Tepco is using emergency equipment to cool reactors damaged at the atomic station after backup generators were knocked out by the tsunami.
The utility is trying to remove highly contaminated water that’s holding up efforts to get the cooling pumps working and prevent further explosions after blasts damaged reactor containment vessels, releasing radiation into the air and sea and tainting food.
Today’s earthquake halted the pumping of contaminated water from the No. 2 reactor, Tepco said.
Cross Posted at Classical Values