Water Bombs Fail, Radiation Rising Again Around Fukushima

Thursday, March 17, 2011
By Paul Martin

Ben Cubby
Sydney Morning Herald

RADIATION levels have risen again around Japan’s crippled Daiichi nuclear power station after improvised attempts to flood smouldering uranium fuel storage tanks with water failed.

Australia, the US and many other nations strengthened their danger warnings yesterday and told citizens not to approach to within 80 kilometres of the Daiichi power plant as the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years reached a critical phase.

Police riot-control trucks with water cannon were unable to get close enough to spray water on the plant. Instead military fire-trucks were sent in to spray jets of water on the damaged reactors and the storage tanks.

The increasingly desperate measures were taken as worldwide concern grew that the situation was more grave than the Japanese government was admitting, and had possibly become worse than the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

The EU’s energy chief, Guenther Oettinger, told the European Parliament the situation was out of control. ”We are somewhere between a disaster and a major disaster,” he said. ”There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen.”

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