UPDATE Japan: Two Nuclear Plants Have Cooling Problems
The best resources to track the problems with three of Japan’s nuclear reactors:
CNN WORLD NEWS – CLICK HERE
REUTERS – JAPAN FACES AFTERMATH – CLICK HERE
NEW YORK TIMES – CLICK HERE
NEW YORK TIMES REPORTS: EXCERPT
TOKYO — Japanese officials struggled on Sunday to contain a widening nuclear crisis in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, saying they presumed that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors and that they were facing serious cooling problems at THREE more.
REUTERS REPORTS: EXCERPT
(Reuters) – Japan faced a fresh radiation threat at an earthquake-crippled nuclear plant on Sunday after the cooling system failed at a second reactor in what could be the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.
The previous day, thousands were evacuated following an explosion and leak from the facility’s No. 1 reactor in Fukushima, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.
Secretary Clinton announced assistance to Japan to help cool their impaired nuclear plants whose backup failsafe systems have failed.
“We just had our Air Force assets in Japan transport some really important coolant to one of the nuclear plants,” Clinton said at a meeting of the President’s Export Council.
“You know Japan is very reliant on nuclear power and they have very high engineering standards but one of their plants came under a lot of stress with the earthquake and didn’t have enough coolant,” Clinton said.
apan’s prime minister has declared a “nuclear emergency” after a number of reactors shut down after a massive earthquake hit the country.
Eleven reactors at four nuclear power stations automatically shut down, but officials said one reactor’s cooling system failed to operate correctly.
Under Japanese law, an emergency must be declared if a cooling system fails.
In total, the country has 55 reactors providing about one-third of the nation’s electricity.
In a statement, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum released a statement that said Prime Minister Naoto Kan had declared the emergency “in case prompt action” had to be taken, but added that “no release of radioactive material” had been detected.
It added: “Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (Nisa) of the [Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry] set up an emergency preparedness headquarter… in an effort to collect information on any possible damage to the NPPs (nuclear power plants).
“Since emergency diesel generators at the Fukushima-1 and -2 NPPs are out of order, (energy company) TEPCO sent the emergency report to Nisa. There is no report that radiation was detected out of the site.”
The reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi power station that triggered the emergency alert was the 40-year-old Reactor 1, one of six on the site.
Reactors 1, 2 and 3 automatically shut down when the Magnitude 8.9 quake shook the plant, while reactors 4, 5 and 6 were not in operation as they were undergoing scheduled inspections.
An estimated 2,800 residents within a two-kilometre radius of the Fukushima Daiichi power station, located about 170 miles north-east of Tokyo, are being prepared to be moved from their homes as part of the emergency procedure.