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Military Rescues Citizens in Japan While Nuclear Experts Work to Rescue Reactor Cores

Sat March 12 2011 9:26 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=39401
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Japan launched a massive military rescue operation on Saturday after the quake-fed tsunami killed hundreds of people and turned the northeastern coast into a swampy wasteland. The official death toll stood at 413, with 784 still missing.

Great concern for Japan as US nuclear experts warned Saturday that pumping sea water to cool an earthquake-stricken Japanese nuclear reactor was an “act of desperation” that may foreshadow a Chernobyl-like disaster.

“The situation has become desperate enough that they apparently don’t have the capability to deliver fresh water or plain water to cool the reactor and stabilize it, and now, in an act of desperation, are having to resort to diverting and using sea water.”
— Robert Alvarez, nuclear disarmament proponent at the Institute for Policy Studies.

The major plant at the nuclear plant was that a “station blackout” occurred, resulting in the loss of offsite air-conditioning power combined with the failure of onsite power — diesel generators.



An explosion at a nuclear power station tore down the walls of one building Saturday as smoke poured out. Japanese officials said they feared the reactor could melt down following the failure of its cooling system.

The containment building at the Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant is certainly stronger than that at Chernobyl but not as strong as Three Mile Island.

If the core continues heating and the cooling sea water does not work, the core can melt through the reactor vessel and onto the floor of the containment building — resulting in failure. Already, Early Sunday, nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power said radiation levels had surpassed the legal limit at its Fukushima No. 1 plant. The presence of radioactive cesium in the atmosphere after the plant was vented indicates that a partial meltdown was under way.

The government declared an atomic emergency and said tens of thousands of people living within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant evacuated.

Early Sunday morning a total of six reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants are known to have cooling failures since the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami that struck Japan on Friday.

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