Mar 13, 2011

Japan earthquake update

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 4:42pm

The Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that radioactivity levels at the site boundary of the Onagawa nuclear power plant have returned down to normal background levels. The first (ie lowest) state of emergency was reported at the plant earlier on Sunday after an increased level of radioactivity was detected at the site boundary. Investigations at the site indicate that no emissions of radioactivity have occurred from any of the three units at Onagawa. The current assumption of the Japanese authorities is that the increased level may have been due to a release of radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves

Meanwhile Other Updates:

Nuclear Meltdown Fears: “Scramble” to cool reactors continues following yesterday’s blast, second blast possible; two reactors likely underwent partial meltdowns; at least 22 Fukushima residents tested positive for radiation exposure; Japanese nuclear accident comparable to Three Mile Island, unlikely to rival Chernobyl; MIT research scientist Dr. Josef Oehmen: “Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors“; interactive infographic: Inside Japan’s crippled nuclear plants; primer: What’s a nuclear power plant?

Latest Figures: Japan Meteorological Agency upgrades quake magnitude to 9.0; over 1,500 confirmed dead; final toll likely to exceed 10,000; “increasingly, those being found are the dead.”

A Closer Look: City by city map of earthquake damage; before and after photos, as seen from space; The Big Picture: Earthquake aftermath; inside Tokyo Disneyland during and after the earthquake.

Elsewhere: Volcano erupts in southern Japan, link to earthquake unclear; Fury over Microsoft’s half-hearted, self-centered support for quake victims.

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