Japan pours tons of water into a reactor building where the water level in a cooling pool for spent fuel rods was dangerously low. The nuclear crisis is now rated as severe as Three Mile Island.
Japan’s nuclear agency raised its assessment of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station from a level 4 to a level 5 on a 7-level international scale for nuclear accidents, matching an earlier assessment by France.
The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan underscores – yet again – the need to abandon nuclear power as a panacea for energy independence. Experts may never determine what caused all of the emergency cooling safety systems at Daiichi to fail completely. But they have learned that they are nearly powerless to bring the smoldering units under control. In the meantime, significant amounts of radioactive gas have vented, and partial meltdowns of at least two reactors have occurred. Indeed, nuclear power will never live up to industry promises. As a whole it is ultimately unsafe, an accident waiting to happen, and far more expensive than proponents admit. Colby College professor Paul Josephson gives seven reasons why we should abandon nuclear power and instead turn to solar, wind, and other forms of energy production that won’t experience such catastrophic accidents.
A top nuclear regulatory official testified Wednesday that Japan's nuclear plant might already be too dangerous to allow repairs, even though external power could soon be available to run crucial water pumps.
Dow Industrials fall 242 points. Stocks on S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes also drop to lowest levels of the year.
Some US naval forces engaged in earthquake relief efforts have been exposed to low levels of radiation from the Japan nuclear crisis. The Navy is keeping its ships out of the radiation 'plume' and is taking precautions.
The European Union will carry out 'stress tests' at all of its operating nuclear power plants and some countries may scrap plans for new reactors.
The Japan nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant points to a need to rethink safety design for such technology. Now, with a possible meltdown, Japan, like many countries, faces a crisis of confidence.
Radiation exposure fears appear to have led to a run on iodine tablets in the US. But federal officals say that is an overreaction. They say weather patterns would disperse radiation from Japan to the point that it would present no health risk by the time it hits American shores.
Nuclear power has been something of a sacred cow in France. But the Japan nuclear crisis in the wake of last week's earthquake and tsunami is raising concern even here.