Radiation fears top concerns in Japan earthquake/tsunami disaster
Japan has suffered greatly in recent days after a 9.0 earthquake struck the north of the country and triggered a tsunami which destroyed countless homes and likely killed over 10,000 people. Millions have been left without electricity, while food and water scarcity as well as lack of heat are threatening parts of northern Japan.
Most of the media, however, has been gripped by the explosions and resultant radiation leaks at three reactors at a Japanese nuclear power plant called Fukushima Daiichi in Fukushima prefecture. The nuclear safety crisis that Japan now finds itself in the grip of is perhaps the only aspect to the earthquake/tsunami disaster that still seems to be getting worse rather than better.
Even Tokyo is reporting radiation levels at 20 times their normal rate, according to the Japan Times, though this poises no immediate risk. Meanwhile Ibaraki prefecture, nearby to Fukushima, reported levels at 100 times normal and levels in Saitama spiked up to 40 times normal.
Check the Guardian’s live blog for more information, including how European countries like Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Poland have reacted to the disaster in terms of their own nuclear programs.
For a simple clear and eye-opening look at atomic power, watch Rachel Maddow explain nuclear power plants and meltdowns: