Nuclear Crisis | Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

This aerial shot shows a Japanese Self Defence Force's CH-47 Chinook helicopter holding more than seven tonnes water each with large buckets from the sea near Natori in Miyagi prefecture on March 17, 2011. Japanese military helicopters dumped water from huge buckets onto the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in a bid to douse radioactive fuel rods. (YOMIURI SHIMBUN/AFP/Getty Images)
Related to the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, about 250 km east of Tokyo, military trucks and firefighters yesterday continued to spray water into the burned reactor units  and exploded. That means this is a two-day military and firefighters were involved in cooling nuclear reactors.

Steps are taken to prevent nuclear fuel heats up and melts triggering radiation at dangerous levels. "The whole world, not just Japan, rely on them," said Norie Igarashi, 44, an office worker in Tokyo, about emergency teams working in the middle of increased levels of radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Nevertheless, these efforts did not bring expected results. In fact, Japan's Nuclear Safety Agency (NISA) yesterday to raise the level of disaster or a nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from its original level 4 to level 5.

That means nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima Daiichi was equivalent to the level of accidents at Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania, USA, in 1979. In that disaster, there were no reports of casualties. However, two years after the disaster, deaths increase in the U.S. due to nuclear leakage.

In the scale of international nuclear disaster (Ines), level 4 means having a local impact or consequences. While the level of 5 has broader consequences.

Head of NISA Hidehiko Nishiyama states, it must raise the level of disaster after realizing that at least three percent of the fuel in the three reactors Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant severely damaged. As a result, the reactor core was partially melted.

"Cooling function has failed and severely damaged the reactor core. Keep radioactive particles released into the environment," he said. With the decision that NISA, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis became the worst disaster in history in Japan.

United Nations agency that oversees nuclear weapons, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in the last statement last night stating that the situation in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is in very serious level. Even so, the IAEA called that has not occurred things worse since last Thursday (17 / 3).

IAEA head Yukiya Amano admitted that it had received information about Japan's decision to raise the level of nuclear disaster in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. According to him, now Japan must race against time to re-establish the nuclear power plant.

Speaking in Tokyo, Amano said it has been carrying monitoring equipment to test radiation levels in the capital. "(Nuclear meltdown) is a very serious accident and emergency," he said after meeting with Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Amano pointed to an explosion and fire at a reactor at the plant. The IAEA decided to intervene. "It's important for the international community, including the IAEA, to participate in handling the crisis together," said Amano. "In particular, cooling (reactor) is paramount. We are racing against time (for the crisis is spreading and could not take the victim)," he continued.

The IAEA will hold a special meeting of the board of governors next Monday (21 / 3). The plan, Amano will membrifing IAEA member states about the assessment of the nuclear crisis in Japan.

"As a first step of our support, I came here with a team of radiation monitors. The team will monitor the radiation in Tokyo tonight (last night, Red). Next, they will come to Fukushima," he explained.

Reported radiation had spread to Tokyo despite relatively low levels or are otherwise within safe levels. It made the Japanese public panic as well as foreign residents in the capital. The exodus of foreign residents of Tokyo and nearby cities Fukushima nuclear power plant continues to progress.

In fact, radiation reportedly spread to the U.S. West Coast. Diplomatic sources revealed that the concentration of low-level radioactive particles from nuclear power plants in Fukushima were detected in the U.S. territory.

According to sources, the radiation level was not going to harm humans. "Very low level. Materal more radioactive seen very little and only contain a few particles," the source said in Vienna, Austria, yesterday.

Japan has asked the government and U.S. military aid to help cool the reactor and the nuclear crisis. However, there are two challenges in the nuclear crisis. That is, cooling the reactor where nuclear energy is produced or cool the nearby ponds used to store nuclear fuel rods.

Both need water to prevent heat and remove the uranium radiation. However, the level of radiation in a nuclear power plant worker has limited efforts to cool. Thus, the danger level increases. In contrast, water in the pond at least one fuel - in the reactor unit number 3 - is believed to exist at a low level of danger. Without enough water, nuclear fuel rods in it can continue to heat up and spread radiation.

"Overcoming the reactor unit No. 3 is our priority now," said Edano told reporters. "We continue to coordinate with the U.S. government. Including what can be provided by the U.S.," he continued.

U.S. military fire truck was also deployed to help spray water into the reactor number 3 although driven Japanese workers. U.S. trucks were deployed along with six other Japanese fire truck that can be used to extinguish a fire in an airplane accident. Spraying operation lasted about 40 minutes yesterday.

The United States has recommended that the evacuation zone was increased to a radius of 80 km from the NPP. Currently, Japan establish evacuation zones applicable to 20-30 km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Meanwhile, there was a suggestion that the Japanese government should implement a solution ala Chernobyl disaster, Ukraine, in 1986, to resolve its nuclear crisis. The move is to hoard or bury the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant with sand and concrete. Consequently, no radioactive particles remaining in the country.

"The reactor is like a coffee maker. If you continue to let it heat up, they (the reactor) will boil. Furthermore, dry and cracked," said Murray Jennex, a professor at San Diego State University in California, USA. "Placing the concrete on it will help keep your coffee maker is still safe. But in the end you can build concrete shields," he continued.

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