Japan Self-Defense Force officers (R) 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/KYODO Kyodo)
WASHINGTON - The US
Navy on Tuesday recommended personnel and families stationed at two
bases in Japan take precautions after detecting low-levels of
radioactivity, including limiting outdoor activities.
measures are strictly precautionary in nature. We do not expect that any
United States federal radiation exposure limits will be exceeded even
if no precautionary measures are taken," the Seventh Fleet said in a
aircraft carrier reportedly sails into radioactive cloud
bodies found on tsunami-stricken Japanese coast
The International Atomic Energy Agency said the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi unit 2 "may have affected the integrity of its primary containment vessel."
The IAEA said primary containment vessels of units 1 and 3 appeared intact despite explosions there. It said units at the Fukushima Daini, Onagawa, and Tokai nuclear power plants were in a safe and stable condition.
On a scale of one to seven, Japan's current nuclear crisis in Fukushima is equivalent
to a number six on the INES's scale of nuclear accidents the French Nuclear Safety Authority said. In comparison,
the 1986 Chernobyl disaster was a seven.
Prime Minister Naoto
Kan urged people within 30 km (18 miles) of the facility north of Tokyo
-- a population of 140,000 -- to remain indoors amid the world's most
serious nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in
eight hours after the explosions, the UN weather agency said winds were
dispersing radioactive material over the Pacific Ocean, away from Japan
and other Asian countries. The Geneva-based World Meteorological
Organization added that weather conditions could change.
levels in the city of Maebashi, 100 km (60 miles) north of Tokyo, and
in Chiba prefecture, nearer the city, were up to 10 times normal levels,
Kyodo news agency said. Only minute levels were found in the capital
itself, which so far were "not a problem", city officials said.
of the reactors exploded on Tuesday at the Fukushima Daiichi plant
after days of frantic efforts to cool them. Kyodo news agency said the
nuclear fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor may be boiling, suggesting the
crisis is far from over at the plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.
possibility of further radioactive leakage is heightening," a
grim-faced Kan said in an address to the nation. "We are making every
effort to prevent the leak from spreading. I know that people are very
worried but I would like to ask you to act calmly."
Levels of 400 millisieverts per hour had been recorded near the No. 4
reactor, the government said. Exposure to over 100 millisieverts a year
is a level which can lead to cancer, according to the World Nuclear
Association. The government later said radiation levels around the
complex had plunged.
The plant operator pulled out 750 workers, leaving just 50, and a 30-km no-fly zone was imposed around the reactors.
material will reach Tokyo but it is not harmful to human bodies because
it will be dissipated by the time it gets to Tokyo," said Koji
Yamazaki, professor at Hokkaido University graduate school of
environmental science. "If the wind gets stronger, it means the material
flies faster but it will be even more dispersed in the air."