From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/13-6
A hydrogen explosion yesterday at Unit 1 severely damaged the reactor building, blowing apart its roof.
by Robert Alvarez
March 13, 2011
Japan’s government and nuclear industry, with assistance from the U.S. military, is in a desperate race to stave off multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns — as well as potential fires in pools of spent fuel.
As of Sunday afternoon, more than 170,000 people have been evacuated near the reactor sites as radioactive releases have increased. The number of military emergency responders has jumped from 51,000 to 100,000. Officials now report a partial meltdown at Fukushima’s Unit 1. Japanese media outlets are reporting that there may be a second one underway at Unit 3. People living nearby have been exposed to unknown levels of radiation, with some requiring medical attention.
Meanwhile, Unit 2 of the Tokai nuclear complex, which is near Kyodo and just 75 miles north of Tokyo, is reported to have a coolant pump failure. And Japan’s nuclear safety agency has declared a state of emergency at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan because of high radiation levels. Authorities are saying its three reactors are “under control.”
The damage from the massive earthquake and the tsunamis that followed have profoundly damaged the reactor sites’ infrastructure, leaving them without power and their electrical and piping systems destroyed. A hydrogen explosion yesterday at Unit 1 severely damaged the reactor building, blowing apart its roof.
The results of desperate efforts to divert seawater into the Unit 1 reactor are uncertain. A Japanese official reported that gauges don’t appear to show the water level rising in the reactor vessel.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/13-66
From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/14/japan-nuclear-explosion-second-reactor-fukushima
Explosion at Japan nuclear plant
A second reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant has exploded but officials say there is a ‘low possibility’ of a dangerous radiation leak
Justin McCurry in Tokyo
guardian.co.uk, Monday 14 March 2011
Japan‘s nuclear crisis has deepened after a second reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant exploded on Monday morning. Officials said there was a low possibility that the blast had released radioactive material into the air.
The wall of the building housing the No. 3 reactor collapsed in the explosion, which occurred at 11:01am local time.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said three workers have been injured and seven are missing. Television footage showed a brief red flash followed by a large plume of white smoke.
The blast came two days after a similar explosion at the No. 1 reactor, which occurred after hydrogen ignited when it mixed with oxygen.
Continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/14/japan-nuclear-explosion-second-reactor-fukushima