Latest Updates on Japan’s Nuclear Crisis and Earthquake AftermathBy ROBERT MACKEY
On Tuesday, The Lede continues to supplement reporting from our colleagues in Japan on the aftermath of a devastating 9.0 earthquake, including the efforts to control damaged nuclear reactors. Updates below feature reports from other news sites and firsthand accounts, photographs and video posted on social media networks.
9:52 A.M. |Rescues Continue Amid Catastrophe
As this NHK video shows, rescuers in Japan's hard-hit Miyagi Prefecture reportedly found a survivor in the rubble on Tuesday, four days after the devastating earthquake and tsunami:
9:44 A.M. |Engineers Unable to Cool Spent Fuel Rods at Plant
An alert from Japan's Kyodo News says that the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Station, Tokyo Electric Power Company, is unable to pour water onto the spent fuel rods inside the containment building of the No. 4 reactor at the plant.
As my colleagues Hiroko Tabuchi, Keith Bradsher and David Sanger report:
Late Tuesday Japan's nuclear watchdog said a pool storing spent fuel rods at that fourth reactor had overheated and reached boiling point and had become unapproachable by workers. The fire earlier Tuesday morning was sparked by a hydrogen explosion caused by rising temperatures at the fuel pool, which released radioactivity directly into the atmosphere. The government said late Tuesday that radiation levels at the plant also appeared to be falling sharply from levels earlier in the day.
The fourth reactor had been turned off and was under refurbishment for months before the earthquake and tsunami hit the plant on Friday. But the plant contains spent fuel rods that were removed from the reactor. If these rods had become dry, they could overheat and catch fire. That is almost as dangerous as the fuel in working reactors melting down because the spent fuel can also spew radioactivity into the atmosphere.
As Martyn Williams, a journalist in Tokyo, reported on Twitter, earlier on Tuesday, the plant's operators said that the radiation levels in the Fukushima plant control rooms were too high for staff to remain there for long periods and engineers were rotating in and out as they struggled to cope with the crisis.
9:00 A.M. |Live Video and the Expanded Exclusion Zone
NHK, Japan's state broadcaster, has made a live stream of its main news channel's coverage of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis available on Ustream, with a simultaneous English translation. That live feed is embedded at the very top of this blog post.
NHK WORLD TV
Total views: 0 Official NHK WORLD TV live on USTREAM.
NHK WORLD TV is an English language 24-hour international news and information channel.
News script now on http://www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/
See Updates Live Video...