March 15th, 2011
06:45 PM ET

Continuing problems raise fears of greater radiation threat

CNN Wire Staff

Tokyo (CNN) - A second fire was discovered Wednesday in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the latest in a series of setbacks at the stricken plant that has heightened fears that the incidents could lead to widespread radiation contamination.

The fire followed an explosion Tuesday at the plant's No. 2 reactor and a fire in a storage pond used for spent nuclear fuel at the No. 4 reactor. Radiation levels at the plant increased to about 167 times the average dose during that fire, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

That dose quickly diminished with distance from the plant, and radiation fell back to levels where it posed no immediate public health threat, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

But the deteriorating situation and concerns about a potential shift in wind direction that could send radiation toward populated areas prompted authorities to warn people as far as 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) from the plant to stay inside.

"There is still a very high risk of further radioactive material coming out," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said, asking people to remain calm.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. W. Verdun Jr

    With the sailors affected by radiation and the weather moving in have you heard of our fleet repositioning again? I don’t know if were on the east or west side if the island but according to the weather forecast given the front will affect everything N NE `to S SE of the island (more or less). And if they are in that area what will happen to our personnel? I’m all about going into harms way to assist our neighbors but this is a humanitarian mission and I would hope we are as concerned about the safety of our armed forces as we are concerned about giving our assistance. No one can be 100% percent curtain of the risk were taking buy being there unless we have boots on the ground and a reliable set of eyes to advise. I truly hope we have that. My deepest sympathy to all affected and best wishes to all assisting.
    God Bless
    W. Verdun N.C

    March 16, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    Anderson showed the dosimeter he was wearing and checking for radiation. If the government is encouraging people to wear the dosimeters and keeping a check on them, then the conditions at the reactors must have deteriorated enough to make authorities believe that people near the reactor sites must be in danger of radiation exposure. I used to work at a DOE site that enriched uranium, etc. We wore dosimeters all the time. There were times when people who worked in certain areas would get pulled out of those areas because the dosimeter reading was too high. Please verify what the dosimeter reading can rise to before AC and the crew needs to vacate themselves further away so they do not get radiation sickness and tell them (the info in Japan may not be accurate depending on its source). None of them and none of the Japanese people need to risk this.

    March 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  3. Maria

    I do not understand why help is not pouring in to help these people with these reactors. Tons of planes should be dousing the reactors. Robots are essential to be brought in and get those workers out. Certainly Japan has scientific advancement with robots. If not then other countries should be rushing in to help. This is an unprecidented crisis. What is being done in this regard?

    March 15, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  4. M. Woodward

    I have worked in the nuclear industry over 30 years. I can give you useful information, but not in this arena. If you desire, please contact me. My heart and prayers are with everyone in Japan, there are no words to describe how I feel for everyone in Japan now.
    God Be With You All.

    March 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm |