For the second time since Saturday, Japan suffered a hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on Monday, injuring 11 workers and destroying the structure that housed the reactor, which is said to still be in tact. At another nuclear reactor, cooling systems failed, causing water levels to drop to a dangerous level, raising the possibility of yet another meltdown.
The concern about the release of radiation from the explosion is increasing, according to Western scientists, although Japan’s nuclear safety agency and the plant operator from today’s blast say the levels are within legal limits. The blast today was felt from as far as 25 miles away. Hundreds of people have been ordered to stay indoors as a result.
To avoid a meltdown at the second reactor, authorities are said to have poured sea water to cover and cool exposed rods. The reactor has been problematic following Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which resulted in the death of at least 10,000 people.
An explosion at a nuclear plan on Saturday injured four workers and triggered mass evacuations. In the past few days more than 180,000 people have fled the area, with up to 160 possibly exposed to radiation. States of emergency have been declared at six Fukushima reactors, which suffered the loss of their main cooling systems and backup generators following Friday’s disasters. Should the radioactive cores meltdown completely, radioactive contaminants would be released into the environment and post major health risks. While scientists warns of major risk, they say they are not worried about Chernobyl-like damage.
Three days after the tragedy struck Japan, millions of people are still without electricity, water, food and heat. Temperatures are said to be near-freezing.
To donate to the relief efforts in Japan, go to RedCross.org