By Emily Glass
[Originally posted on http://edinburghnapiernews.com/2011/03/14/japan-update/ on 14th March 2011]
A second blast at Fukushima Daichii’s nuclear power plant has rocked Japan just three days after the first reactor exploded.
This latest explosion is said to be caused by a hydrogen build-up in reactor 3 and has left 11 people injured, one seriously.
Measures are being taken to keep reactor 2 cool as it’s heat levels are rising to dangerous levels due to the water levels falling and the cooling system failing. But with the cooling waters possibly havingevaporated officials cannot rule out the the possibility that reactor 2′s nuclear rods are now exposed causing the risk of a potential meltdown.
A similar problem led to both Friday’s and today’s explosions.
Despite the blasts officials report that the nuclear plant’s core is still intact and are dismissing the chance of health risks. However, at least 22 people are being treated for radiation exposure and tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from the surrounding area.
US officials have reported evidence of low-level radiation up to 100 miles off-shore and have moved one of the aircraft carriers away from the plant.
Fears of another Chernobyl are being dampened by experts who say that Fukushima Daiichi’s reactors are built to a much higher standard.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), who operate the plant, confirms that the reactor’s containment vessel is intact despite the huge impact of the earthquake. TEPCO are providing continual updates on the status of the plant as hundreds of aftershocks continue to cause damage.
- Japanese shares have fallen dramatically in the first dsay of trading after the quake – Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 6.2%.
- The Bank of Japan injects 15 trillion Yen ($183bn/£114bn) into t he banking system in a bid to stabilise it’s financial markets.
- Nissan, Honda and Hitachi’s shares have also all fallen dramatically whilst construction companies’ Kajima and Nishimatsu Contrsuction’s shares have rocketed to 17.9% and 21% respectively.
- Japanese media reports 2,000 bodies found on the Miyagi prefecture’s shores whilst police confirm around 1,600 deaths with the final toll expected to be in the tens of thousands.
- Repair costs are estimated at tens of billions of dollars already with further significant aftershocks expected and another tsunami warning issued.