Fukushima Nuclear Plant Situation

The Truth |  The Japanese Government |  Putting it Into Perspective |  The IAEA's update log

The Truth

      On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit 80 miles (129km) East of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. This is about 109 miles (177km) ENE of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)Your computer cannot view JPGs.However, Japanese architects are well aware of the many quakes and tremors in Japan, and the Fukushima nuclear power plants were designed to withstand the quake. It's the 15-meter tsunami that followed that started all the problems. That same day, the stricken plant's 5-meter tsunami wall fell. The massive wall of seawater surged into the plant and destroyed the necessary water cooling system which keeps the spent fuel rods pool at a safe temperature.

     However, CNN, BBC, and other news companies over-exaggerate and inflate the situation to titles such as "Tsunami Terror" or "Nuclear Crisis". In reality, the situation is not as bad as the news companies make it out to be. True two reactors did explode. True, high amounts of radiation are leaking out. But, the situation is slowly becoming under control as international help arrives into the country to assist with this unprecedented natural disaster.

     This website will include various articles and statements from Chief Secretary Yukio Edano, TEPCO employees, foreign government agencies, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) representatives. Any information regarding nuclear energy levels or potential nuclear hazards will be 100% reliable from nuclear experts from the IAEA. Statements from Yukio Edano will be to state what action the Japanese government is taking. Additionally, we will include the opinions of several other nations, including the United States, as well as writing their recommendations for citizens living in Japan.

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The Japanese Government

Your computer cannot view JPGs.     Following the Reactor #4 explosion, the Japanese government advised an immediate evacuation radius of 10km (6mi) from Fukushima Dai-ichi (Fukushima I) plant. However, the next evening, the evacuation radius was doubled to 20km (12.5mi). Furthermore, the following week, the 'voluntary' evacuation radius increased to 30km (18.6mi). In contrast, the initial US government mandatory evacuation radius was 30mi (50km). In addition, the military began removing military base families from the country and paying for their fares back to the United States. In a news conference with Chief Secretary Edano, he stated "[ I ] encourage heads of affected municipalities to urge people to voluntarily move further away. [The Japanese government] will provide full support in relocating them." As a result, over 100 million (100,000,000) people make their homes in shelters scattered throughout the northern Touhoku region.

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Putting Fukushima into Perspective

As previously stated, the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster is slowly being brought back under control. As international assistance from the U.S., France, and other countries continues to arrive, Japan is slowly but surely making a recovery. Although the problem with the spent fuel rods pool remains, continued efforts are keeping it from worsening. Firetrucks, helicopters, and even a converted concrete-pumping vehicle are pumping gallons and gallons of water into the damaged plant in an effort to keep the temperatures down.

In a statement from the IAEA made on April 21st, 16:25 (4.25PM) UTC (01:25 - Apr. 22 JST), they mention, "[Mr. Edano] reduced the evacuation zone around the station from 10km to 8km," and that, "the order to evacuate based on the incident at Fukushima II (Reactors 5 & 6) Power Plant would be lifted from areas further than 8km around the station. In regard to the now-contaminated seawater dumped by helicopter as a pre-emptive response to the power failure at the Fukushima I Plant, the IAEA states that from 18 April to 19 April, approximately 24,000L (6,340 gal.) of coagulant--liquid glass--was pumped into Reactor 2. Furthermore, the contaminated water was moved to radioactive waste treatment facilities that same day, according to the IAEA.

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The fact we mentioned above is just one example of how the Fukushima plant situation is being brought back under control. For these reasons, down here in Yokohama there is absolutely no need to worry. Of course, 4,000 miles of ocean helps create a buffer zone, so the chances of any effects in the US are minimal.

Don't believe us? Check out the IAEA's latest update on the situation at the IAEA's special update log.

Thanks and stay safe!

Created by: Shimpei Hara, Ignacio Lara, Eurey Noguchi, Jay Mahtani, Kenji Moir
7th Grade Students at Saint Maur International School, Yokohama, Japan
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