Lieberman: “Put the brakes” on new U.S. nuclear power plants
The risk of partial meltdown at a stricken nuclear power plant in Japan increased on Monday as cooling systems failed at a third reactor, possibly exposing its fuel rods, only hours after a second explosion at a separate reactor blew the roof off a containment building….
Operators fear that if they cannot establish control, despite increasingly desperate measures to do so, the reactors could experience meltdowns, which would release catastrophic amounts of radiation.
It was unclear if radiation was released by Monday’s explosion, but a similar explosion at another reactor at the plant over the weekend did release radioactive material.
The situation in Japan is moving quickly and getting worse. The above is from a Monday morning NYT piece.
Here is the AP story, “10K dead in Japan amid fears of nuclear meltdowns” from 4:05 EDT Sunday.
The estimated death toll from Japan’s disasters climbed past 10,000 Sunday as authorities raced to combat the threat of multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns and hundreds of thousands of people struggled to find food and water. The prime minister said it was the nation’s worst crisis since World War II.
Nuclear plant operators worked frantically to try to keep temperatures down in several reactors crippled by the earthquake and tsunami, wrecking at least two by dumping sea water into them in last-ditch efforts to avoid meltdowns.
The nuclear savvy French “recommended its citizens leave the Tokyo region of Japan on Sunday, citing the risk of further earthquakes and uncertainty about the situation at its damaged nuclear plants.”
It looks like people are right to leave the area as rapidly and orderly as possibly. The NYT reports at 10:07 EDT, “Radioactive Releases in Japan Could Last Months, Experts Say“: