Third Explosion Reported at Japanese Nuclear Plant
Things just keep getting worse at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex as a third explosion was just reported there early in the morning Tuesday (local time) at reactor 2. ABC reports:
Half of the rods inside the reactor were not immersed in water and the suppression pool, which holds the water used to keep the rods cool, seemed to be damaged, according to Tokyo Electric Co. and government officials.
The level of radiation also rose around the reactor, but a government official said there was no danger.
"The radioactive level near unit 2 has gone up, but at this juncture, the level is not judged to be immediately harmful to human bodies," said Noriyuki Shikata, a spokesman in the prime minister's office.
Is there really no danger, or do they just not know yet how dangerous it is, or are they keeping mum?
The Fukushima crisis now rates as a more serious accident than the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in the US in 1979, and is second only to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, according to the French nuclear safety authority. After insisting for three days that the situation was under control, Japan urgently appealed to US and UN nuclear experts for technical help on preventing white-hot fuel rods melting.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was "unlikely" that the accident would turn into another Chernobyl, but failed to rule it out completely.
We've gotongoing coverage
of this story from Tina Gerhardt, as well as information about how the US and other countries have been planning on ramping up nuclear power in the coming years. Will we see a change in energy policy?