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Japan Nuclear Facility Put on State of Emergency as “Precaution”

Japan Nuclear Facility Put on State of Emergency as “Precaution”

Multiple reports tell that a state of emergency has been declared at Japanese nuclear facilities after one station reportedly faced a cooling system failure following a massive 8.9 earthquake that rocked the area on Friday morning.

Japanese authorities are keen to stress that this is a precautionary measure allowing those responsible for handling activity at the nuclear facilities to take the appropriate steps to address any problems that may arise.

From the Associated Press:

Japan said it was operating on an atomic power emergency footing but said no radiation leaks were detected among its reactors after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck on Friday, triggering a huge tsunami.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan declared the emergency to enable authorities to implement emergency measures. Residents living near plants were not required to take special action, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.

“We have declared a nuclear emergency state to take every possible precaution,” Edano said. “Let me repeat that there is no radiation leak, nor will there be a leak.”

“We ask residents in the areas near power plants to act calmly.”

A fire broke out in the turbine building of Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi Prefecture, but operator Tohoku Electric Power said there were no indications of a radioactive leak, Kyodo News reported.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has also stressed that no radiation leaks have been detected. This remains the official word at the time of writing. Japanese reports suggest that the fire at the Onagawa nuclear facility may have been extinguished. This has yet to be confirmed.

Japanese officials have been adamant the state of emergency is a precautionary measure and that reports of an imminent meltdown at any of the nuclear plants are unfounded at this time.

From The Guardian:

The chief cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano, said the nuclear power plant in Fukushima developed a mechanical failure in the reactor cooling system after it was shut down during the earthquake.

He said the measure was a precaution and there was no radiation leak at the Fukushima No 1 power plant. He said the facility was not in immediate danger.

“Parts of nuclear plants were automatically shut down but we haven’t confirmed any effects induced by radioactive materials outside the facilities,” Kan said.

Reuters reports that the The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is monitoring and actively seeking further updates as to the situation at Fukushima Daiichi “and other nuclear power plants and research reactors, including information on off-site and on-site electrical power supplies, cooling systems and the condition of the reactor buildings.”

Meanwhile estimates on the death toll have risen with some putting the figure as high as 60 at this time. Numbers continue to rise by the hour.

President Obama has offered his condolences to those affected in this disaster, saying, “The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial. The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy. We will continue to closely monitor tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific going forward and we are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials as I have instructed FEMA to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the US states and territories that could be affected.”

This post is breaking news and may be subject to revision or additions. Changes will appear below the fold.


UPDATE (7 a.m. PST): Japanese authorities are reportedly evacuating around 3,000 citizens that live close to the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, though they have again stressed that this is a precautionary measure and have emphasized that the plant is not leaking radiation. The plant is located in Onahama city, northeast of Tokyo. Read more here.

UPDATE: (8:39 a.m. PST): The Reuters news agency reports that U.S. forces have delivered coolant to the affected nuclear plant. Read more here.

BREAKING: An explosion has occurred at one of Japan’s nuclear facilities. Click here for more.

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Photo in the public domain taken from the Wikimedia Commons website.

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25 comments

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7:47PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

Please, posters, be aware that the truth of the nuclear plant disaster is being downplayed.

The earthquake in Japan was 9.1, and the pumping of seawater in a nuclear plant is a desperation move to stop a china sydrome level meltdown.

There HAS been releases of radioactive gases, including radioactive iodine, and this material is getting carried by the jet stream to the United States.

It is VITAL in the coming weeks to consume kelp and other biosafe sources of iodine, so the thyroid does not absord radioactive isotopes.

This Kelp is not expensive, and can provide peace of mind in the coming days.

7:10PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

This is a very good example why we should NOT have nuclear plants!!

11:20PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

There should be NO nuclear plants in today's day and age. Get rid of them, they just pose a menacing threat.

6:15PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

My heart and prayers goes out to japan. seems the people of japan, have been through hell more then most countries, one thing, is i would not live on that fault line, they live on. my nerves are to bad, to wake up, to the earth shaking. I guess i'm just a wimp.

3:19PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Dangerous indeed!

2:06PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

I have never seen anything as horrific as this. I thought the tsunami in Tailand was bad, but this is way, way worse. They are still having after shocks which must be terrifying. Bless all the Japanese people and I pray they are not subjected to anymore...Nuclear power frightens me ever since Chernobyl and I hope that nothing will come from these plants.

12:11PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Let's hope two things, they get these facilities under control and that this sends a lesson to all those who support nuclear energy.

9:08AM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Too late and ridiculously arrogant on the part of humans to think they are invincible against mother nature!
A great case against all forms of Nuclear Power, especially here in Southern California where we are sandwiched between San Onofre and Mount Diablo power plants..
Our human stupidity, arrogance, ignorance and cupidity will eventually be the cause of our soon extinction.
The planet will survive though.

8:42AM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Roof blew off, walls (what walls have not been specified ..CNN) and they (who?) are handing out iodine tablets (to whom?)
How much radiation is escaping and which way is the wind blowing? All information seems to be very vague..."precautionary"...until it's too late?

7:30AM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Hopefully they don't end up like Chernobyl, what a tradegy that was and wht this could be. People want to use nuclear power but one leak can lead to bigger disasters and can make an area a complete wasteland if it has a meltdown.

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