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Breaking News: Explosions at Nuclear Plants Follow Japan 8.9 Earthquake
by Mei Bo Chan
Friday Mar 11th, 2011 4:05 PM
NHK, Japan's national broadcast system, reports more than 1,000 people have died or are missing after an 8.9 earthquake (8.8 on the Japanese earthquake magnitude scale). A tsunami of 30 feet or higher struck the northeast coast of Japan near the city of Sendai Thursday at 9:46pm California time. The nuclear agency in Japan reports 8 times normal radioactivity at a reactor called Dai-ichi in the prefecture of Fukushima, about 200 miles north of Tokyo.

UPDATES are being added as comments by indybay reporters following NHK news in Japanese, Al Jazeera English, and other key sources. Please post your comments as well.
The nuclear agency in Japan reports 8 times normal radioactivity at a reactor called Dai-ichi.  3,000 were  evacuated earlier, and now that the evacuation has been increased to a 10 km radius many more are being evacuated.  The reactor automatically shut down but it also shut down the system that cools it.  Emergency generators were flooded by the tsunami.

CNN reported that if batteries run out the core could overheat and melt down but American scientists they interviewed say this situation is not going to be as bad as Chernobyl.