Workers pumping radioactive water from Japan reactor

Japanese PM says nuclear crisis "nowhere near" being resolved; nuclear official says there's danger of damage to reactor but no crack.

By REUTERS
March 26, 2011 06:31
2 minute read.
Smoke is seen coming from area of No. 3 reactor

Japan smoke from nuclear reactor 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Tokyo Electric Power Co)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

TOKYO - Japanese engineers were frantically attempting on Saturday to pump out puddles of radioactive water at the earthquake-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant after it injured three workers and delayed efforts to cool reactors to safe levels.

Underscoring growing international qualms about nuclear power raised by the killer earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan two weeks ago, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it was time to reassess the international atomic safety regime.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Radiation scare sparks run on bottled water in Tokyo
Japan Fact-box: 9,079 confirmed dead, 12,645 missing
Japan battles crippled nuclear plant, radiation fears grow

Radioactive water has been found in buildings of three of the six reactors at the power complex 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo. On Thursday, three workers sustained burns at reactor No. 3 after being exposed to radiation levels 10,000 times higher than usually found in a reactor.

"Bailing out accumulated water from the turbine housing units before radiation levels rise further is becoming very important," said Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency senior official Hidehiko Nishiyama.

Radiation fears escalated in Japan on Friday after workers suffered burns as they tried to cool an earthquake-crippled nuclear power station, while the government sowed confusion over whether it was widening an evacuation zone around the plant.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, making his first public statement on the crisis in a week, said the situation at the Fukushima nuclear complex north of Tokyo was "nowhere near the point" of being resolved.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


"We are making efforts to prevent it from getting worse, but I feel we cannot become complacent," he told reporters. "We must continue to be on our guard."

The comments reflected a spike of unease in Japan after several days of slow but steady progress in containing the nuclear accident, which was triggered by a devastating earthquake and tsunami two weeks ago.

More than 700 engineers have been working in shifts to stabilize the plant and work has been advancing to restart water pumps to cool their fuel rods.

Two of the plant's reactors are now seen as safe but the other four are volatile, occasionally emitting steam and smoke. However, the nuclear safety agency said on Saturday that temperature and pressure in all reactors had stabilized.



Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Friday the situation at Fukushima was "nowhere near" being resolved.



"We are making efforts to prevent it from getting worse, but I feel we cannot become complacent," Kan told reporters. "We must continue to be on our guard."



The 9.0 magnitude quake and giant waves it triggered left more than 10,000 people dead and 17,500 missing.

As shocking as that toll is, much attention since the March 11 disaster has been on the possibility of a catastrophic meltdown at Fukushima, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.


Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, October 21, 2018
October 21, 2018
Netanyahu calls on Mnuchin to stop Iranian aggression

By YVETTE J. DEANE