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Environment & Forest Defense

Partial Meltdown of Nuclear Reactor in Japan Could Affect West Coast
by Ruth Robertson
Saturday Mar 12th, 2011 10:29 PM
What started as a mega-earthquake in northeastern Japan 48 hours ago, followed by a tsunami about 30 minutes after, may have resulted in a partial meltdown at a nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan.
japan-map.jpg
japan-map.jpg

Conflicting information abounds as the Japan Ambassador to the US says there is no evidence of meltdown as of this evening, but Japanese officials said there is some radiation in the air. Japanese sources are being more cautious in their interpretation of the scientific data and are not using the term meltdown, but many American scientists are saying it is a "likely" a partial meltdown.

Al Jazeera English is providing coverage of what they are calling a "partial nuclear radiation meltdown". The Seattle Times reports that if a full meltdown occurs the affects could be seen as far as the US West Coast.

Japanese sources say that 19 people are confirmed exposed to radiation. 4 had it on their clothing and the surface of their skin.

Meanwhile, in Minamisanriku, population 18,000, more than half the people are unaccounted for according to NHK. An indybay reporter is monitoring live Japanese NHK coverage. For updates throughout the weekend go to link below.

Top photo here courtesy of Greenpeace. Greenpeace has launched a campaign to stop giveaways to the nuclear industry in the US, pointing to the Japan disaster, saying:

"The simple truth is that no matter how advanced the  technology and how prepared a country might be to deal with a disaster it doesn’t change the fact that nuclear power is inherently dangerous and always will be. But that hasn’t stopped President Obama from putting $38 billion worth of giveaways to the nuclear industry in his latest budget proposal to Congress. There’s still time to get the money out of the final budget."
§Japan historical photo
by Ruth Robertson Saturday Mar 12th, 2011 10:29 PM

Aftermath of 1910 tsunami. Photo republished here under Creative Commons License from flickr.com