Monday, March 14, 2011

Fukushima Explosion : Japan Huge Blast Second Hydrogen Explosion,Fukushima Nuclear Reactor,Pics & Videos

Japan - The second hydrogen explosion in three days rocked Japan's stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant Monday, sending a massive column of smoke into the air and wounding 6 workers. The plant's operator said radiation levels at the reactor were still within legal limits.

"First I was worried about the quake," said Kenji Koshiba, a construction worker who lives near the plant. "Now I'm worried about radiation." He spoke at an emergency center in Koriyama, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) from the most troubled reactors and 125 miles (190 kilometers) north of Tokyo.

At the makeshift center set up in a gym, a steady flow of people — mostly the elderly, schoolchildren and families with babies — were met by officials wearing helmets, surgical masks and goggles.

A huge column of smoke billowed from Fukushima Daiichi's reactor 3, two days after a blast hit reactor 1.The latest explosion, said to have been caused by a hydrogen build-up, injured 11 people, one of them seriously.

Soon afterwards, the government said a third reactor at the plant had lost its cooling system.Water levels were now falling at reactor 2, which is to be doused with sea water, said government spokesman Yukio Edano.

The No 3 reactor building at the plant exploded on Monday, destroying the walls and sending a plume of white smoke into the air.But officials said the reactor remained intact, adding that there was a low possibility the blast had released radioactive material.A powerful explosion has hit a nuclear power station in north-eastern Japan which was badly damaged in Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Experts say a disaster on the scale of Chernobyl in the 1980s is highly unlikely because the reactors are built to a much higher standard and have much more rigorous safety measures.

Earlier, the prime minister said the situation at the nuclear plant was alarming, and the earthquake had thrown Japan into "the most severe crisis since World War II".The government advised people not to go to work or school on Monday because the transport network would not be able to cope with demand.

The capital Tokyo is also still experiencing regular aftershocks, amid warnings that another powerful earthquake is likely to strike very soon.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a senior official of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, indicated the reactor core in Unit 3 had melted partially, telling a news conference, "I don't think the fuel rods themselves have been spared damage," according to the Kyodo News agency.

A complete meltdown — the melting of the radioactive core — could release uranium and dangerous contaminants into the environment and pose major, widespread health risks.

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