This post will likely be updating all day. There was a scare late last night that #3's pressure was so high they were going to release some of it into the atmosphere. Then they backed off. Personally, I think it was a feint to make it appear they have any notion of pressure, any measure of containment, but that's just me.
Where's my coffee?
At Fukushima, around 300 engineers were working round-the-clock inside an evacuation zone to contain the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1986.
They have been spraying the coastal complex with sea-water so fuel rods will not overheat and emit radiation. But hopes for a more permanent solution depend on connecting electricity cables to reactivate on-site water pumps at each of the reactors.
"I think the situation is improving step by step," Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama said amid news workers, in suits sealed by duct tape, had managed to connect power cables to the No. 2 and 5 reactors.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said engineers aimed to extend power to No. 1 reactor, which is linked to No. 2, and then test systems later on Monday.
The U.N. atomic watchdog said there had been some positive developments but the situation remained very serious.
If the pumps cannot restart, drastic and lengthy measures may be needed like burying the plant in sand and concrete.
Even if the situation is contained, cases of contaminated vegetables, dust, milk and water are already stoking anxiety despite Japanese officials' assurances levels are not dangerous.
The government prohibited the sale of raw milk from Fukushima prefecture and spinach from another nearby area, and said more restrictions on food may be announced later on Monday.
The health ministry asked residents of one village about 40 km (25 miles) from the plant to stop drinking tap water after levels of radioactive iodine three times above the regulated limit were found, Kyodo news agency said.
Much smaller traces of radioactive iodine have also been found in Tokyo, 240 km (150 miles) south of the plant.
Many expatriates and local residents have left the capital. Those who remain are subdued but not panicked.
"There's no way I can check if those radioactive particles are in my tap water or the food I eat, so there isn't much I can really do about it," said Setsuko Kuroi, an 87-year-old woman shopping in a supermarket with a white gauze mask over her face.
We see HERE the execrable Rachel Maddow doing a fairly decent job of explaining the problem at Daiichi. She has omitted mention of the meltdown consequences with the hotter spent fuel rods in cooling ponds that are CLEARLY only still called that in the HISTORIC sense. I recognize that this was not as clear at the time she aired this, and possibly it was not known at the time that #3 was full of MOX, while it seems clear they knew #4 was full of really hot spent fuel rods. I revile that she and her expert—the immortal and de rigueur expert—steered all the way clear of any discussion of the behavior of radioactive heavy metals such as uranium and plutonium once they are in meltdown mode.
Look at the reactor design. It's been pointed out all over the place. Any meltdown in the cooling pond is going to be dripping, POURING, molten waste onto the reactor core containment vessel and WILL breach it. Look at the plant buildings. There is thin air where those cooling ponds once resided.
So, dig it, no matter how helpful you found Rachel's careful explanation, it amounts to a BIG FAT LIE. She might not even KNOW it, but that is what it is. The uranium and plutonium, except as interrupted momentarily by some explosion, are going straight down into the earth. The radioactive iodine everyone is so worried about will already be way less hazardous as it reaches us because its half life is only eight days, but it's going to kill many in the area. The cesium and whatever other particles that have been blown into the atmosphere don't degrade down into harmlessness for millennia. Every single day they have been dithering with their squirt guns since #3 blew has been PREMEDITATED MURDER. At least today they are MENTIONING the Chernobyl Option as a real possibility, but how many more days until they DO it?
And how much could all that bullshit over Libya have been better directed at an effort to hasten the mountains of sand and concrete this is going to take? So. Do not question my "murderating fucks of the world" label, here. Do not question it for a moment.
Sure wish these heroes were not being sacrificed to the nukes industry's sacred MOX cow....
To think I was once pleased by the appointment of Steven Chu. My esophagus has twisted in shame and remorse. He is a killer, a whore and should be lined up with the rest of them and shot.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the Obama administration believes the worst of the crisis is over. Unit 2, where Tepco connected a 1.5-kilometer (1 mile) power cable March 18 as it tried to revive cooling systems knocked out by the magnitude-9 temblor and tsunami, is the main source of concern, [!!! OMFG OMFG OMFG !!!] Chu said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
“Because of the higher levels of radiation there, we take that as evidence that there might be a breach in that containment vessel,” he said. “But they’re not extraordinarily high, so it appears if there is a breach, it would be a limited breach. But, again, we don’t really know.”
I mean, HERE... check! A third-grader could read that chart! No? YES. And the damn chart is underplaying it.
Pardon me while I go screaming naked down the middle of Highway 101....
It seems there are other considerations compounding Japan's problems....