RED EMPHASES ARE OURS
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As we were beginning to fear earlier, the attempts to fully stabilize reactor #2 at Fukushima Dai-Ichi have been unsuccessful.
From The Age:
"A third explosion in four days has rocked the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan. The blast on Tuesday at Dai-ichi Unit 2 follows two hydrogen explosions at the plant - at Unit 1 and Unit 3 - as authorities struggle to prevent the catastrophic release of radiation in the area devastated by a tsunami.Water levels have dropped precipitously inside Unit 2, twice leaving the uranium fuel rods completely exposed and raising the threat of a meltdown, hours after a hydrogen explosion tore through the building housing Unit 3.
The latest explosion was heard at 6.10am on Tuesday (8.10am AEDT), a spokesman for the Nuclear Safety Agency said at a news conference.
The plant's owner, Tokyo Electric Power, said the explosion occurred near the suppression pool in the reactor's containment vessel. The pool was later found to have a defect.
International scientists have said there are serious dangers but not at the level of the 1986 blast in Chernobyl."
First Coast via USA Today reports:
"At a news conference Monday afternoon, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, John Roos, said U.S. experts are working closely with Japan and that staff from the Department of Energy and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are consulting with the nation. The staff includes experts in boiling-water nuclear plants, the type used at Fukushima.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said there is no danger of radiation drifting as far as the West Coast of the United States.Four nuclear plants in northeastern Japan have reported damage. Operators lost the ability to cool the three reactors at Dai-ichi and three more at another nearby complex using usual procedures, after the quake knocked out power and the tsunami swamped backup generators."