Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Fukushima Fire, Meltdown, Iodide Interest Heightened, Nuclear Fallout Precautions, Warships Redirected, Radiation Towards Tokyo,

Fire breaks out at Japan Fukushima Daiichi No.4 reactor building

(Reuters) - A fire has broken out at the building housing the No.4 reactor of Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the electric utility said on Wednesday.
"That outlook, of course, changed overnight with the escalating nuclear meltdown. The spreading nuclear leak has changed the earthquake from a one day event to a continuing and growing disaster. Where it will end all of a sudden isn't clear. Worse case scenarios, even unlikely ones like the evacuation of Tokyo or nuclear contamination on the US West Coast, are now in play. And that has added the element of uncertainty that is now rocking the market." 

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Japan crisis spurs iodide interest in U.S. and Canada

The No.3 nuclear reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at Minamisoma is seen burning after a blast following an earthquake and tsunami in this handout satellite image taken March 14, 2011. REUTERS/Digital Globe/Handout

SEATTLE | Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:05pm EDT
(Reuters) - Fears of transpacific nuclear fallout fromJapan's reactor crisis has sent consumers scrambling for radiation antidotes across the ocean in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Canada.
But U.S. and Canadian health authorities said on Tuesday that fears are unwarranted, and warned that people will expose themselves to other medical problems by needlessly taking potassium iodide they hope will protect them from cancer.
Drug stores and holistic clinics in Washington state, Oregon and British Columbia have seen a sharp increase in demand for potassium iodide and other potential antidotes to radiation since the Japanese reactor crisis began.
  •  A friend of mine here in the US says the pharmacy he works at has sold out of potassium iodide tablets! The tablets counteract the effects of radioactive iodine, but we're not in any real risk here. It seems that lots of people get very scared when the word "radioactive" is used and lose all sense.
    comment by Johan at 3:49 PM

    • Illustrated tips on how to protect against a radioactive cloud.
      by Corinne Perkins at 3:46 PM
      FACTBOX: U.S. redirects warships over Japan radiation risk
      (Reuters) - The U.S. military took new steps to shield personnel from radiation spread by Japan's crippled nuclear plant on Tuesday, redirecting arriving warships to safer waters and telling some forces to limit time outdoors.

      (Reuters) - Winds over a radiation-leaking nuclear power plant in northern Japan will blow from the north along the Pacific coast early on Wednesday and then from the northwest toward the ocean during the day time, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

      Tokyo, with population of about 13 million, is located about 240 km (150 miles) southwest of the plant.

      A massive earthquake and tsunami on Friday crippled its cooling functions, forcing operator Tokyo Electric Power Co to put seawater into the reactors, releasing radioactive air into atmosphere, to reduce heat and high pressure inside.

      The direction of the wind is a key factor in judging possible damage to the environment from the radiation.

      Officials said radiation in Tokyo was 10 times normal on Tuesday, when the wind was blowing from the north and northeast.

      (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Michael Watson)

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