The Japanese government has declared a nuclear emergency, as the cooling system failed, at a nuclear power plant, triggering evacuation orders for about 3,000 residents. The government declared its first-ever state of emergency at a nuclear plant. Japan's nuclear safety agency said pressure inside one of six boiling water reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant had risen to 1.5 times the level considered normal.
Here is more from the BBC.
The situation at the Fukushima plant is seeing comparisons drawn to the Chernobyl nuclear explosion - which was the world's worst atomic plant disaster. It happened 25 years ago in Ukraine, but the effects of the contamination are still felt today.
Here's a video from Greenpeace that shows the effects from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster that caused a worldwide radiation scare.
In 1979, a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in the United States in 1979 stopped the growth of the world's nuclear power industry in its tracks, as the accident sparked radiation fears.
What will happen in Japan, will this nuclear blast and meltdown plunge the world into a new era of cataclysmic nuclear fallout?
UPDATE: Global Meltdown & Nuclear Fallout - Another State Of Emergency At Second Nuclear Plant In Japan: IAEA!
Following the explosion at a quake-hit nuclear plant in Japan, a state of emergency has been declared at a second facility due to excessive radiation levels there, the UN atomic watchdog said on Sunday.
UPDATE: Emergency Alert For Pacific Coast of North and South America From Radioactive Fallout!
Today, one of my sources sent me the following image of a map,.illustrating where the fallout will go if the nuclear facilities melt down in Japan. I am not sure who designed it, if anyone knows, please advise accordingly, so that the proper attribution can be made.
The map shows that the fallout would reach the Pacific Coast of North America within the space of six days if it follows the jet stream, following a catastrophic meltdown at the three operating Fukushima Daiichi reactors, with the Caribbean and South America affected in just over ten days. It is quite possible that if the core of the radioactive material overheats, the high temperatures could move it to the floor of the nuclear reactor vessel, creating a meltdown similar to the Three Mile Island reactor. Based on several reports on Japan's preparedness for earthquakes, it seems that the Fukushima Daiichi reactors has a much better containment system than the Three Mile Island or Chernobyl reactors, if the core was to melt through onto the containment unit. However, it is widely believed that there is an issue of strength:
...but on the scale of most reactors in this country, it's not as strong as most of them," said Ken Bergeron, a physicist and former scientist at the Sandia National Laboratories, where he worked on nuclear-reactor accident simulation. "If the containment doesn't survive, we have a worst-case scenario" of a meltdown, Bergeron said in a Saturday conference call with other U.S. nuclear scientists to discuss the situation. - Wall Street Journal.
Frightening. Consider the following report from the BBC, that the Japanese government has been suppressing the scale of the crisis:
A former nuclear power plant designer has said Japan is facing an extremely grave crisis and called on the government to release more information, which he said was being suppressed. Masashi Goto told a news conference in Tokyo that one of the reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant was “highly unstable”, and that if there was a meltdown the “consequences would be tremendous”. He said such an event might be very likely indeed. So far, the government has said a meltdown would not lead to a sizeable leak of radioactive materials. - BBC.