Now Playing:Japan Disaster Japan 3rd Reactor Fail, Fear of Melt Down At Japanese nuclear plant, a battle to contain radiation
Description: Iran رژیم جمهوری اسلامی نگران هفته آینده اعتراض جمعی از ایران
Tsunami swamps Japan after powerful quake
An unprecedented series of crises in the reactors at three of Japan's 54 nuclear power reactors, triggered by Friday's massive quake and tsunami, is continuing to fuel fears of a fresh, enduring catastrophe of radioactive contamination — a prospect that is particularly alarming in the only nation to be attacked with atomic bombs.
In one reactor at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, nuclear fuel rods were exposed when they were dangerously depleted of cooling water. In two other reactors, hydrogen explosions have blown the roofs off their surrounding buildings. And early this morning, another explosion occurred. Like the others, it was the result of hydrogen building up in the outer building that surrounds the reactor.
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Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency acknowledged Monday that radiation levels at the plant had increased. Japan has evacuated nearly 200,000 people from areas near the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant and the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant nearby. The International Atomic Energy Agency said Japan had distributed 230,000 units of iodine — which can counter radiation's effects on the thyroid — to evacuation centers as a precaution.
Late Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said a fire had started among spent fuel rods at the plant, sparking further radiation worries. The Associated Press reported that Japan's nuclear safety agency said the fire had been extinguished.
Edano said that "although we cannot directly check it, it's highly likely," that nuclear fuel rods were melting in the plant's three working reactors.
Even so, "the Japanese government's troubles are immense and unprecedented," says Peter Bradford, a former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission official. Amid the damage from an earthquake and tsunami that the U.N. said has left more than 10,000 missing, nuclear engineers likely will spend the next several days — maybe weeks — battling to keep the reactors from overh...