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Crisis at Japanese Reactor Plant Worsens

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 16, 2011 2:05PM

Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials are planning on returning workers they pulled out of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant yesterday. Conditions at the plant have worsened, with an explosion at the Unit 2 reactor likely responsible for the burst of radioactive steam that prompted their removal. That's on top of rescue workers hauling in sea water to dump on top of the exposed reactors and the continuing fire in a spent nuclear fuel pond on the grounds. Trace amounts of Cesium-137 and Iodine-131 were found in the air in the initial moments of the disaster. It's feared that those levels could increase if the fuel rods aren't cooled soon.

The situation at the plant has grown so dire that the Institute for Science and International Security released a statement saying that the situation at the plant "is now closer to a level 6, and it may unfortunately reach a level 7." A level 7 is a "major accident."

With the crisis worsening, experts are trying to alleviate fears that radiation from the plant will reach the U.S. They say that only with a full meltdown and the "right" weather patterns could it be possible. People are still rushing to stock up on potassium iodide, regardless.