Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Forth Japanese Nuclear Reactor on Fire

Short update. This situation is getting worse by the minute. The French embassy has warned that radiation could be hitting Tokyo within 3 1/2 hours from now. I doubt that as the prevailing winds are blowing away from Tokyo. But that is what they have warned.

The Japanese government has also increased the evacuation zone from 2 kilometers, to 3, to 10, to 20 and now to 30 kilometers. I roundly criticized the Japanese government mishandling of this crisis here.

World Nuclear News reports:

Prime minister Naoto Kan has requested that everyone withdraw from a 30 kilometer evacuation zone around the nuclear power plant and that people that stay within remain indoors. He said his advice related to the overall picture of safety developments at Fukushima Daiichi, rather than those at any individual reactor unit.

Fire at unit 4

Kan also confirmed a fire burning at unit 4, which - according to all official sources - had never been a safety concern since the earthquake. This reactor was closed for periodic inspections when the earthquake and tsunami hit, therefore did not undergo a rapid and sudden shutdown, although it was of course violently shaken.

We are now heading for an underground shelter for a few days.

I hope to be able to update, but am having problems with the Internet and there mght be power outages. Will report again ASAP. 

Thanks to my friend Graham Carpenter in Kansai


Andy "In Japan" said...

Thanks for blogging and good luck to all of us here in Japan. Here's some good news about the fire in reactor 4: Fire put out at unit 4

Prime minister Naoto Kan confirmed a fire burning at unit 4, which, according to all official sources, had never been a safety concern since the earthquake. This reactor was closed for periodic inspections when the earthquake and tsunami hit, therefore did not undergo a rapid and sudden shutdown. It was of course violently shaken and subject to the tsunami.

Kan's spokesman Noriyuki Shikata said that there had been "a sign of leakage" while firefighters were at work, "but we have found out the fuel is not causing the fire." The fire is now reported extinguished.

Anonymous said...

there aren't too many things that are "good" that have come from this tragedy except that once things settle down, it will have created a lot of new jobs that were badly needed in the long recession-hit japan.

Andy "In Japan" said...

All the money spent on re-building could, and would, have been used to buy or invest in other things absent the disaster. Maybe there will be more construction jobs, but other jobs will be lost and many individuals will have their own personal economy wrecked. This disaster is a big net loss for the economy.

If you don't believe me then I challenge you to put your own money where your mouth is. Go ahead and destroy all of your own possessions and then re-build or re-place them. It'll create jobs, right?

mikeintokyorogers said...

Dear Anonymous,

That is a fallacy of logic. If a disaster like Katrina or this case is good because it creates jobs, then why don't we just flatten all of Tokyo? That'll really create jobs. No. The broken window theory of economics is purely false. If things weren't destroyed then that labor and money and materials could have been used for something else more beneficial to society...

Anonymous said...

andy in japan.

first off, i forgot that japan's unemployment rate is lower than it is here in the usa.

i am not saying that i believe or don't believe you. and when i said "good" it was in quotes. now, as far as your challenge, you have to remember, and i'm sure you do, that the japanese people did not cause this accident. it was, in insurance terms, "an act of god", a natural disaster. so, if all of my possessions (i own a house, but live a simple life with few possessions) were lost to a fire or flooding (i ma not in an earthquake, tornado, hurricane zone) i would still have my property which is worth more than my house. my insurance, once all the claims and waiting was over, would pay for a new house. possessions? fridge, oven, computer. paid for. plus my house needs so much work that it wold be better to have is destroyed. the jobs and money would go to, construction workers, developers, the stores where i would get new appliances, paint, etc. and to the people who make those products. but that's here in the states where there are millions of people out of work. anyway, remember, construction work is much more than guys pounding nails into boards.

finally, this means nothing if there is a nuclear meltdown. if that happens, forget what i have written. that's a separate disaster than an earthquake.