SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The World

March 19, 2011

Japan cites radiation in milk, spinach near plant

(Continued)

FUKUSHIMA, Japan —

"Most of the motors and switchboards were submerged by the tsunami and they cannot be used," Nishiyama said.

Even once the power is reconnected, it is not clear if the cooling systems will still work.

The storage pools need a constant source of cooling water. When removed from reactors, uranium rods are still very hot and must be cooled for months, possibly longer, to prevent them from heating up again and emitting radioactivity.

People evacuated from around the plant, along with some emergency workers, have also tested positive for radiation exposure. Three firefighters needed to be decontaminated with showers, while among the 18 plant workers who tested positive, one absorbed about one-tenth tenth of the amount that might induce radiation poisoning.

As Japan crossed the one-week mark since the cascade of disasters began, the government conceded Friday it was slow to respond and welcomed ever-growing help from the U.S. in hopes of preventing a complete meltdown.

The United States has loaned military firefighting trucks to the Japanese, and has conducted overflights of the reactor site, strapping sophisticated pods onto aircraft to measure radiation aloft. Two tests conducted Thursday gave readings that U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel B. Poneman said reinforced the U.S. recommendation that people stay 50 miles (80 kilometers) away from the Fukushima plant. Japan has ordered only a 12-mile (20-kilometer) evacuation zone around the plant.

Emergency crews at the plant faced two continuing challenges: cooling the nuclear fuel in reactors where energy is generated, and cooling the adjacent pools where thousands of used nuclear fuel rods are stored in water.

The tsunami knocked out power to cooling systems at the nuclear plant and its six reactors. Since then, four have been hit by fires, explosions or partial meltdowns.

The government on Friday raised the accident classification for the nuclear crisis, putting it on a par with the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979, and signifying that its consequences went beyond the local area.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
The World

AP Video
12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Today in History for July 26th Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Today in History for July 25th Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot