News / Asia

    Radiation Spread From Japanese Nuclear Power Plant Continues

    Japan's Self-Defense Force's members and others in protective gear help to transfer workers who stepped into contaminated water on Thursday during their operation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, March 25, 2011
    Japan's Self-Defense Force's members and others in protective gear help to transfer workers who stepped into contaminated water on Thursday during their operation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, March 25, 2011

    Authorities in Japan are continuing efforts to control the crisis at a damaged nuclear power plant. The Fukushima-1 complex was damaged after a massive earthquake two weeks ago and is still emitting radiation in the atmosphere

    On the outside, steam continued to rise Friday from several reactor buildings at the Fukushima-1 nuclear facility in northeastern Japan. Inside, work continued to try to bring automated cooling systems back on line that would help prevent an even potentially worse spread of radiation from the severely damaged complex.

    Japan's government has recommended that people living between 20 and 30 kilometers from the facility leave their homes, but no mandatory evacuation is being issued for that zone. Those within 20 kilometers were previously ordered out of the area due to radiation fears.

    Hidehiko Nishiyama, the deputy director of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, says it is possible that radioactive matter will continue to travel far away and testing about the extent of the emissions needs to be made.

    The continuing emission of radioactive vapor has prompted warnings about drinking tap water as far away as 300 kilometers south of the plant. It has also raised safety concerns internationally about Japanese vegetables, milk and seafood.

    Two of three workers laying cables in the turbine building of Reactor-3 slipped into radioactive water and were transferred by ambulance to a specialized hospital Friday. They are to be treated at the National Institute of Radiological Science after suffering radiation burns on their feet the previous day.

    Japan's trade minister, Banri Kaieda, blames a "safety lapse" for exposing the men to 100,000 times the normal level of radiation found in water used for reactor cooling.

    Kaieda blames a lack of management supervision by Tokyo Electric Power Company for the exposure. He says the utility needs to improve its radiation oversight at the crippled nuclear power facility.

    Japan's defense ministry says pure water and pumps supplied by the United States military will be brought to Fukushima-1 to cool the reactors. It would replace the sea water being used that is causing corrosion because of an accumulation of tons of salt.

    Scientists say chloride in the salt could also break open the zirconium alloy layer of protection around the fuel rods which prevents volatile radioactive elements from escaping.

    Tokyo Electric Power confirms that zirconium-95 in sea water several hundred meters from the Fukushima plant has been detected since Wednesday when testing began there for additional radioactive elements.

    A spokesman for the Japanese prime minister's office tells VOA there is no clear evidence that the cladding has been breached.

    Since the March 11 magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami, high radiation levels, fires and explosions at some of the six reactors have slowed efforts to make critical repairs to stabilize the situation.

    Japanese government agencies say they are considering raising the assessment of the nuclear crisis to a level six or "serious accident" on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. Currently, the Fukushima accident is rated a level five, which is considered to "have wider consequences."

    The official death toll from the March 11 quake and tsunami continues to rise. The national police agency says more than 10,000 fatalities have been confirmed while more about 17,000 people are missing.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora