Japan Just rose its nuclear alert to the highest level

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by Vidboy10, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Vidboy10

    Vidboy10 Tsardom

    Dec 15, 2008
    Vancouver, B.C
    News reports say Japan has decided to raise the severity level of the crisis at its stricken nuclear power plant to 7 - the highest level and equal to the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union. Quoting sources at Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Japan's nuclear safety watchdog, Kyodo News agency and public broadcaster NHK both said on Tuesday that NISA would raise the severity level of the nuclear radiation disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to 7 from the current 5. Minoru Oogoda, a NISA spokesman, declined to confirm the reports.

    The reports came as a strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 jolted the Tokyo area and its surrounding areas. Japan's Meteorological Agency said the quake struck at 8:08am local time [23:08 GMT] on Tuesday. There were no initial reports of injuries or damage in the Tokyo prefecture. No tsunami warning was issued. But the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the Fukishima Daiichi nuclear plant's operator, said a fire had briefly broken out at No 4 reactor. TEPCO said the fire at a box that contained batteries in a building near the reactor was discovered at about 6:38am and put out seven minutes later. It was not clear whether the fire was related to Tuesday morning's earthquake. The cause was being investigated.

    Earlier, the government expanded an evacuation zone around the Fukushima plant because of the high levels of accumulated radiation since a tsunami hit the complex a month ago, causing massive damage to its reactors. Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett reported from Mizusawa that many Japanese are very concerned about the longterm impact of the radiation in the areas surrounding the site. "Certainly the refugees, or the people who've been evacuated ... they've often being saying to us they're not sure they're being told the full story," Fawcatt said. "The impact is certainly spreading." Jasmina Vujic, professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, said that there were major differences between the Chernobyl disasters and Fukushima.

    Chernobyl was situated in an area with a high population density in the centre of Europe, she said, whilst the Japanese plant is in a lightly populated, costal region. "From that point of view, the impact on environment and population, would be much smaller than Chernobyl," Vujic told Al Jazeera. Kyodo said the government's Nuclear Safety Commission had estimated that at one stage the amount of radioactive material released from the reactors in northern Japan had reached 10,000 terabequerels per hour for several hours, which would classify the incident as a major accident according to the INES scale.

    The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), published by the International Atomic Energy Agency, ranks nuclear incidents by severity from 1 to a maximum of 7. Kyodo did not say when the big increase in radiation had happened but quoted the commission as saying the release had since fallen to under 1 terabecquerel per hour. The commission also released a preliminary calculation for the cumulative amount of external exposure to radiation, saying it exceeded the yearly limit of 1 millisieverts in areas extending more than 60kmto the northwest of the plant and about 40km to the south-southwest. "It has been obvious all along this was a 7. There are three reactors that are not being cooled [No 1, 2 and 3] and four fuel pools too [No 1, 2, 3, and especially 4]," said Arnie Gundersen, a veteran of the nuclear industry who worked on reactors similar to those at Daiichi and who is now chief engineer at Fairewinds Associates Inc of Burlington, Vermont.

    Gundersen said that meant there were at least seven cores or pools that had been in difficulty. He noted that at Chernobyl it was only one reactor that created the problem. Japan had previously assessed the accident at reactors operated by TEPCO at level 5, the same level as the Three Mile Island accident in the US in 1979. The tsunami was triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, the largest recorded in quake-prone Japan, crippling the reactors' cooling systems. TEPCO said on Monday it had stopped the discharges of low-level radioactive water into the sea that have drawn complaints from neighbouring China and South Korea.

    It has already pumped 10,400 tonnes of low-level radioactive water into the ocean to free up storage capacity for highly contaminated water from the reactors. On Monday, shortly after Japan marked one month since the quake, a huge aftershock shook a wide swathe of eastern Japan, killing two people, and knocking out power to 220,000 homes. It was one of more than 400 aftershocks above a 5 magnitude to have hit the area since March 11. Because of accumulated radiation contamination, the government is encouraging people to leave certain areas beyond its 20km exclusion zone around the plant. Thousands of people could be affected by the move. Masataka Shimizu, TEPCO's president, visited the area on Monday for the first time since the disaster. He had all but vanished from public view apart from a brief apology shortly after the crisis began and has spent some of the time since in hospital.[/p]
  2. CherrySkitty

    CherrySkitty GBAtemp Regular

    Apr 3, 2011
    I'm so worried about Japan...

    I think it should be considered as devastating as Chernobyl's .-.
  3. rad140

    rad140 GBAtemp's "over quoter"

    Mar 14, 2010
    "From that point of view, the impact on environment and population, would be much smaller than Chernobyl,"

    Just because it's the same level doesn't mean it'll have the same impact.

    I thought things were going better for a while, but I guess this second earthquake has brought things back to (or worse?) than they were before. I hope it works out...
  4. SinHarvest24

    SinHarvest24 Shiroyasha

    Oct 8, 2010
    Anywhere you think of me.
    I hope things can return to normal in Japan. The number of powerful aftershocks they've received since the initial major quake is quite staggering. If anyone of you believe that this/what is happening to Japan is happening for a reason, i would like to know that reason.
  5. Zorua

    Zorua Newbie

    Oh my god, this is just bad. I hope that Japan makes a quick and smooth recovery.
  6. Anakir

    Anakir Project: Melee

    Dec 20, 2006
    Not to be an asshole but I'm thinking Japan's pretty much finished. It would be more safe to get everyone out and deal with the situation after everyone has evacuated. Sigh. I hope this isn't true. I never got to visit Japan.
  7. epicCreations.or

    epicCreations.or GBAtemp Fan

    Mar 13, 2010
    United States
    Austin, TX
    This. Never got a chance to go there. But, where would they go? There's a lots a people there. Where could they go?
  8. Thesolcity

    Thesolcity Wherever the light shines, it casts a shadow.

    Oct 2, 2010
    United States
    San Miguel
    I don't know, but with any luck somewhere near as long as this doesn't spread. [​IMG]
  9. Cloak519

    Cloak519 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Oct 7, 2010
    I wish Japan the best of luck. Some thread on ATS reckons there's another earthquake on the way based on predictions from a guy that allegedly predicted the others. Not sure what to make of it but I'm prone to panic, so...
  10. shakirmoledina

    shakirmoledina Legend

    Oct 23, 2004
    Dar es Salaam
    evacuation at this moment would be best then coming back when curative means are available
  11. ShawnTRods

    ShawnTRods GBAtemp Psycho!

    Mar 26, 2011
    Best of luck to them. They are having really bad time lately..
  12. CrimzonEyed

    CrimzonEyed GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 3, 2007
    Bah soon we will have a real Gojira in japan -.- (godzilla)
  13. ShawnTRods

    ShawnTRods GBAtemp Psycho!

    Mar 26, 2011
    Or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [​IMG]

    But seriously, Japan needs all the support they can get [​IMG]. Tsunami/Earthquake then another one right after...

    Isnt Earthquakes and such common in Japan? They should have built the Powerplants at a better location, maybe??
  14. rad140

    rad140 GBAtemp's "over quoter"

    Mar 14, 2010
    Well, they do live on a major fault line.

    Anyway, I wish them the best of luck. I would donate more if I had more money, but I'm just a poor university student.
  15. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Interesting development although it looks like some people are banging the fear drum a little bit hard, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/12/fukushima_ffs/ and his articles have been pretty interesting though.

    I just hope this whole scenario does not set back public perceptions of nuclear power... ah who am I kidding.
  16. Eckin

    Eckin GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 14, 2009
    my face when people say "japan is finished" [​IMG]

    dude it's a pain, yes, but it's not gonna destroy the whole country (as a nation)

    they have support from the whole world, they just need to ask and that's the problem. They keep saying "no, world, we are fiiiine relax" and then they rise the nuclear alert level five minutes later. It's dumb. And yes I know it's to avoid internal panic BUT DAMN, people lives are at stake here. They shouldn't keep lying or hiding the truth like they have been doing this whole time.

    And then, get better. With time.
  17. Ace Overclocked

    Ace Overclocked My CPU's hot but my core runs cold.

    Jul 30, 2010
    i hope you get over it
    you're japanese right?
    i'm really concerned about japan
    i never got to get there and it's my favourite country
    and it's selfish of ourselves of regretting that we didn't go there while people are suffering!
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
  18. coolness

    coolness PSN: Dutch_DarkLord

    Jun 14, 2009
    Rotterdam Bitches!!
    this is so fucked up for japan
    first the earthquack than the tsunami and than then radioactive shit
    the land is gonne get destroy
  19. Hop2089

    Hop2089 Cute>Hot

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    I think China caused this by a weather warfare experiment.
  20. Vidboy10

    Vidboy10 Tsardom

    Dec 15, 2008
    Vancouver, B.C
    These are some pretty sad replies...