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Brand New NIRS Update

April 7, 2011

NIRS newsletter today:

As you probably have heard, a new earthquake struck Japan today. We’ve seen it reported at everywhere from 7.1 to 7.9 magnitude. Officials at Fukushima Daiichi say there was no additional damage at that site, but since the earthquake hit at 11:30 pm Japan time, and it is still the middle of the night there at this writing (4:00 pm US eastern time), it’s probably too early to tell for sure.

Of particular concern is that offsite power has been lost to the Rokkosho reprocessing plant, which has a large inventory of plutonium. That site, and the single-unit Higashidori reactor in northern Japan, are reportedly operating on power from emergency diesel generators at this time. We will update our site as we learn more.

We are continuing to post updates on the nuclear crisis in Japan on our website, www.nirs.org. Today, for example, we posted a link to a video providing our first glimpse into the evacuation zone. Some Japanese journalists take a harrowing drive from the south toward Fukushima Daiichi and manage to get within about a mile from the reactor site. Substantial earthquake/tsunami damage is evident in the region, and radiation readings reach above 100 MicroSievert/hour, or about 10 millirems/hour–meaning the maximum U.S. allowable radiation dose for a year would be reached in 10 hours. Note that the highest radiation readings have been to the northwest of the site, the lowest to the south.

We are encouraging actions of every kind in April as the Fukushima disaster continues and as we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe. Rallies, teach-ins, film showings, art exhibits–whatever you and your group can do to bring added visibility to the need to end nuclear power is critical right now and throughout the Spring.

We’ve set up a new action page on our website, where we are listing actions across the world. We will add your actions as you send them to us at nirsnet@nirs.org. Check the page frequently to find actions near you, and make sure we’ve listed your actions.

We will particularly note two rallies planned soon: one is an anti-war rally in New York City this Saturday, April 9. NY groups are putting together a strong No Nukes! contingent for this rally, and are meeting at 11:30am at Union Square East at 16th St. in front of the Vitamin Shoppe. NIRS Senior Advisor Harvey Wasserman will be speaking.

The other is Saturday, April 16, at Avila Beach, CA, calling for the shutdown of Diablo Canyon and sponsored by Mothers for Peace. You can find more info at http://www.mothersforpeace.org.


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