Radiation leaked from a damaged Japanese nuclear reactor on Saturday after an explosion blew the roof off in the wake of a massive earthquake, but the government insisted that radiation levels were low.
A nuclear reactor damaged by Japan’s biggest earthquake may be starting to melt down, local nuclear authorities have warned.
There was a large explosion inside a concrete reactor building at the Fukushima No. 1 power station about 220 kilometres north of Tokyo after the reactor’s cooling system failed.
Smoke was seen billowing from the plant last night, four people were injured and radioactivity had risen 20-fold.
Details are emerging of the explosion at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima on the east coast of Japan, 240 kilometres north of Tokyo.
The blast blew off the outer concrete shell of a building housing one of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi (number 1) nuclear power station, leaving behind a skeleton of metalwork. Four workers are reported to have been injured at the site and radiation is leaking into the environment. Japanese authorities have extended the evacuation zone around the plant to 20 kilometres.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a press briefing that the pressure vessel that houses the radioactive core of the plant is intact, and that a large amount of radiation leakage is not expected. He said that radiation is remaining at a low level.Short Sharp Science: Fukushima explosion: radioactive core appears intact
An explosion at a crippled nuclear power plant in northernJapan on Saturday blew the roof off one building and caused a radiation leak of unspecified proportions, escalating the emergency confronting Japan’s government a day after an earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of the country’s northeastern coast.
Update: Greg Laden has posted a video of the explosion: Fukushima Nuclear Plant Explodes : Greg Laden’s Blog