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March 14th, 2011
09:00 PM ET

Evening Buzz: New Nuclear Reactor Blast in Japan

Rescue teams work urgently in Japan.

Rescue teams work urgently in Japan.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Anderson will report live from Japan tonight with the latest developments on the earthquake and tsunami damage.

One of the biggest concerns tonight is the fear of radiation exposure with new trouble at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The owner of the plant says there was an "explosive impact" at the No. 2 reactor in just the last few hours, and pressure readings indicate some damage to the containment structure.

Japan's chief Cabinet secretary says he can't rule out the possibility of a meltdown at all three of the plant's troubled reactors.

On Saturday, an explosion blew away the roof and walls of the building housing reactor No. 1, though the blast did not damage the reactor itself, officials said.

But then the cooling system for the No. 3 reactor malfunctioned, prompting workers to start pumping a mix of seawater and boron into the reactor in a last-ditch effort to cool down fuel rods. However, the No. 3 reactor was also rocked by an explosion, which injured 11 people, and damaged the cooling system at the No. 2 reactor.

Meanwhile, the confirmed death toll in Japan has topped 2,000, at least 3,000 others are missing, tthe National Police Agency said.

Anderson traveled to Shichigahama, about 12 miles northeast of Sendai, where the farmland is now soaked with sea water and debris.

The tsunami's wall of water washed away homes and cars. In the wreckage, Anderson found children's dolls, shoes and wedding photos covered in mud. Japanese soldiers began to search for bodies, going by the smell, with so much ground to cover.

Farther north, in the town Ishinomaki, stranded residents are being rescued by boat. That's where 360's Gary Tuchman went out with members of Japan's army. They came across a woman waving from her apartment, desperate for water. Surprisingly, she didn't want to evacuate her home. Others in the town were grateful to escape. We'll take you inside the rescue effort tonight on AC360. All along the coast of northeast Japan, at least 15,000 people have been rescued.

We'll also check with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who's at a hospital in Shiogama City, outside Sendai. He talked with a patient who is lucky to be alive after his car was tossed around when it was hit by the tsunami.

"Over and over I was hit," he told Dr. Gupta and then his car flooded. He was slowly drowning. Tonight hear how he escaped with his life.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Christine Hartman

    Discussing this with my father today.. he built nuclear power plants as an electrical engineer including San Onofre and plants in Arizona, Washington State, Australia, etc.. he said that if the sea water isn't doing the job maybe they can pour concrete into the reactor core to stop the meltdown from occuring.. just haven't heard anyone say that yet.. right now we are just watching closely and hoping it won't happen..

    March 15, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  2. Jay

    While working at a plant that process brine water we discovered many times the the salt in the brine would cause the pipes to clog. Now that they are using sea water to cool the reactors would the salt eventually clog the reactor and any pipes coming into or going out?

    March 15, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  3. michael brandon

    So sad for the family's involved in this horrific disaster,me and my wife have a home and both of us are working and in good health,we set in our warm house and feeling so helpless we would love to open our home to a family that have lost there home Im sure others would do the same.This would be a very good humanitarian question to ask so please ask and if so how.

    March 15, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  4. Patricia

    Anderson,
    My prayers and thoughts go to the victims and survivors, may they have the strength to endure and overcome this overwhelming experience. And I deeply wish all the correspondents and international rescue teams in Japan be safe and come back home to their love ones unharmed. Thank you for risking your lives to bring the news to us and touch our hearts to help our Japanese brothers.

    March 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  5. Jesse Vosters

    Anderson,
    If all three reactors actually do melt down will there be danger for those of us on the west coast of the US? The jet stream is directly to us.

    March 14, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  6. Karen Z in South Carolina

    According to USAID's website: "teams arrived at Misawa Air Base, Japan on Sunday.... In addition, the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team also includes four members with nuclear expertise from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). These four team members are currently in Tokyo discussing with their counterparts ways the U.S. might be able to assist Japan if needed."
    My questions are – Where are these four nuclear experts now? Have these U.S. experts been allowed access to the Fukushima Daiichi site? Is there any way to interview them to get their perspective on the situation currently unfolding at Fukushima Daiichi?

    March 14, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  7. letsgoplaces

    Anderson Love watching you. I dont feel a sense of truth from any other reporter like I do with you. Wondering what happened though I thought it was two hours live tonight and here we are seeing a replay of the first hour. Stay safe. You cant report anything if you get sick and many of us depend on you to bring us the Truth of whats really going on.

    March 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  8. Apollo

    Reality check AC they need to cordon off of 1/8 of there land mass that wont be able to used for a long time to come,and then theres the logistics of moving people and manufacturing and infrastructure for life support.... oh hell lets call it what it is its a MELT DOWN PEOPLE Time to get out of denial mode and look at pulling back and saving lives and finding new places for Reconstruction

    March 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  9. Kathy Hale

    It is not surprising that the utility is obscuring the facts: that is typical for the nuclear industry. Contact Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS) in D.C for the other side.

    March 14, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  10. Barbara

    So with the nuclear emergency blast, doesn't the particles get into the jet stream and come to America? Should we be taking precautions, like the potassium iodide?

    Thank you for reporting the worst of the worst.
    God Bless us all and my prayers are with you all.

    March 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  11. Heatehr

    My chemistry professor this morning did some sample calculations and we determined that it would take roughly 3 months for the reactors to cool down on their own without the coolant or sea water running into the system. The sea water is corrosive but it's better than nothing. Without any coolant the reactor cores would melt through the bottom, down into the Earth. Then we'd have a real mess! If the time scale is really that long, I hope they can continue some kind of water flow to keep the cores cool. I am wondering about radiation levels and if we will see any contamination in the states. Praying for all of the families in Japan

    March 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  12. Jeff Linnert

    Regarding the Japanese nuclear facility problems: Please have the decency to consider the Japanese government might be telling the truth, and that they are simply doing what seems reasonable at this point, and safe. You, Anderson, are not reporting from a country who's media are controlled by corporatins who's sole interest is covering their stinkin' hides. Please do not put the Japanese people into the sewer inhabited by US corporations.

    March 14, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  13. Rotis

    God help Japan during this traumatic disaster...

    March 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  14. Michael Hall

    Anderson.. I often wonder what happens to the debris once they start cleaning up? Is there a big barge this debris will get piled onto and shipped to scrap yards? Like the steel, the cars, things hat can be recycled? I know some of it must be burnt. There is a massive amount of it so how do they sift through it?

    My thoughts are with the families who lost loved ones and the thousands of people displaced from this event.

    As always keep safe and a tremendous thanks for the unstoppable reporting you and your team do. Shout out to Dr Sanjay Gupta as well!

    March 14, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
  15. Tim Hubbard

    Anderson,
    I hope all the CNN employees get issued a personal dosimeter (measures radiation exposure), and each crew should be issued a Geiger counter which needs to be monitored 24/7.

    March 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  16. Ben W

    If there happens to be a complete meltdown of one facility, would this lead to an explosion and result in total meltdown of the other reactors? And say this happens, what would be the scale of the damage? Comparable to a nuclear bomb?

    March 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  17. Patrice Francis

    What will Japan be like in 2012? How long will it take to get Japan back on its feet? Its hard to believe that this is happening right now. I don't know what I can do besides keep those facing this disaster in my mind. I have complete faith in the ability of the Japanese to comeback from this as long as they can get enough help from other countries, but I hope that the situation with the reactors doesn't get any worse.

    March 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  18. JOHN I

    I don't know anything about cooling reactors for sure, but is there a dry ice manufacturer that was not destroyed? If they ran the water over the dry ice to cool it quicker or are they able to dump the dry ice from aircraft around it? I'm sure the temp is unimaginable dry ice and sea water has got to be colder than just sea water. or maybe air lift snow from the mountains and dump it in the sea water to get that temp down. Please try something different.

    March 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  19. charles shelton

    the following is indirect evidence of breach of the reactor core(s):
    the military ship that is in the area noted readings of radiation exposure of equivalent of 1 month of background in less than one hour-if this was measured on personel on the ship or on those that were involved in the humanitarian efforts it would imply something on them-not dose in the body but rather something in particulate form-this was then removed from the military personel by scrubbing with soap and water-this implies a dust or particulate matter-the only way this could happen from a reactor would be from an explosion of dust or particulate matter that is radioactive-likely containing plutonium or cesium or iodine or decay products of the core element. Although less likely, it could come from heavy water or other radioactive droplets in water but this would have to be wet material like rain or moisture rather than dust-this military finding coupled with the relocation of the military vessels out of the prevailing winds suggests that there is direct measurable particulate matter in the air and this could only come from a breach(not from the outer walls that exploded)
    secondly the containment chamber when filled with water does not retain the levels of water suggesting a crack or leakage point

    March 14, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  20. Pam D

    Anderson, please check on the people of communities west of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant such as Miharu and Koriyama. They are out of supplies including fuel and roads are blocked so they can't get out from the threat of the potential radiation. Please don't forget these people. Thank you!

    March 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  21. Cheryl

    Anderson, aren't you and Sanjay worried about exposure to radiation, even though you are the required kilometers from the Nuclear site?

    March 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  22. Kathryn Schmitt

    ANDERSON, if every home in America takes in one Japanese family, they can be saved. Please contemplate this idea. Mother Theresa said we need to share. If we don't share our homes, these people are going to die.

    March 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  23. Annie Kate

    Amazing that the man didn't drown in his car – he was really lucky. The nuclear reactors are worrisome, to say the least. I hope some new safeguards come out of this horrible disaster so that new reactors that are to be built and old reactors that may need refitted can have some standards to go by to lessen the chance of a radioactive breach during and after an earthquake.

    March 14, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  24. Shera LC

    This is scary & touching & horrific & compelling all at the same time! Thank you, Anderson, for bringing us such amazing coverage! Thoughts n prayers go out to you, your crew, and all the people of japan.. God bless..

    March 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  25. jaelle

    Sanjay and Anderson, stay safe. Keep your eyes on the radiation levels. Get out of there if you need to. News is important but it's not worth your lives.

    March 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm |