After the powerful 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the giant tsunami that caused the demise of hundreds of people and the damage of properties last March 11, 2011, Japan braces itself again for another crisis due to a nuclear occurrence.
According to Ryohei Shiomi, a Nuclear Safety Official from Japan, the damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant may trigger a nuclear leakage. Two of the reactors lost their cooling ability which may lead to overheating and possible meltdown.
However, the authorities assure the public that even when meltdown happens, the effect of the nuclear leakage can be contained around the 10 kilometer radius. According to Naoto Sekimura, a professor from the University of Tokyo, major nuclear radiation leakage is still very unlikely at this point. There may be slight leak in radiation but an explosion is not to be feared.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who inspected the area by helicopter, still ordered the immediate evacuation of 51,000 residents living in the danger area along with the other victims of the tsunami. According to international news sites, the radiation level is about 1,000 times the normal but this is not yet very alarming. All efforts are now working to reduce the damage of the nuclear power plant.
A recent update however disclosed that an explosion was heard from the number 1 TEPCO nuclear plant and that 4 persons were hurt. The cause of the explosion is still being investigated.
The damage at the power plants brought about by one of the greatest disasters that hit Japan intensified the fear of the people. Previously, US experienced the most devastating accident that concerns the nuclear power plants with the 1979 Three Mile Island Accident which affected millions of people.
In the mean time, Japanese authorities warn the people to get ready for severe power interruption. 30% of the country’s electricity comes from nuclear power plant.