But it gets better. This state of affairs has pushed the prime minister to new heights of statesmanship.
In a sign that radiation is continuing to leak from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration of 4,385 times the maximum level permitted under law has been detected in seawater near the plant, according to the latest data made available Thursday morning.
Japanese authorities were also urged to consider taking action over radioactive contamination outside the 20-kilometer evacuation zone around the plant, as the International Atomic Energy Agency said readings from soil samples collected in the village of Iitate, about 40 km from the plant, exceeded its criteria for evacuation.
The authorities denied that either situation posed an immediate threat to human health, but the government said it plans to enhance radiation data monitoring around the plant on the Pacific coast, about 220 kilometers northeast of Tokyo.
According to the government's nuclear safety agency, the concentration level of radioactive iodine-131 in a seawater sample collected Wednesday afternoon around 330 meters south of the plant exceeded the previous high recorded the day before. In Tuesday's sample, the concentration level was 3,355 times the maximum legal limit.
Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, acknowledged there is a possibility that radiation is continuing to leak into the sea, adding, ''We must check that (possibility) well.''
The No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors at the plant are believed to have suffered damage to their cores, possibly releasing radioactive substances, while the fuel rods of the No. 4 reactor kept in a spent fuel pool are also believed to have been exposed at one point, as the reactors lost cooling functions after the March 11 quake and tsunami.
I really may be forced to subscribe to Hoagland's nutty space wars theory now. No. Really. WHAT could explain this shit short of vicious space invaders holding world leaders hostage to the awesomeness of their weaponry?
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Thursday he will look into reviewing from scratch the existing plan to build at least 14 more nuclear reactors by 2030, as a result of the ongoing nuclear crisis.
I can't think of a thing.
The gloves are coming off....