Water Cannons, Fire Trucks and Tons of Helicopter-Lifted Water Have Not Stopped Heating in Fukushima Reactors

“I think the Unit 4 firefighters were withdrawn (March 16, 2011) because the fuel pools are drying out. That means high levels of Cesium-137 (gamma rays) at the site and the uranium products will turn into radioactive gasses that can touch skin and be breathed in. This could be as bad as, or worse than, Chernobyl.”

- Arnie Gundersen, Nuclear Engineer and Safety Expert, Fairewinds Assoc.

Fukushima Update 10:30 AM Pacific March 19, 2011 - Radiation Found in Milk and Spinach. More Electric Power Cables Laid to Radioactive Reactors, But Hook Ups Not Tested.

“Though radioactive iodine has a short half-life of about eight days and decays naturally within a matter of weeks, there is a short-term risk to human health if radioactive iodine in food is absorbed into the human body.”

- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano announced today that levels of  radiation exceeding Japanese safety limits were found in milk sampled 19 miles (30 km) from the Fukushima plant and in spinach sampled 65 miles (100 km) south, almost half way to Tokyo. The radiation level is about 7 millisieverts. If the contaminated food were eaten continuously for a year, the amount of ingested radiation would be equivalent to one CT scan.

Japanese fire truck spraying water on Fukushima Unit 3, the only reactor that contains MOX fuel, "mixed-oxide" that contains plutonium as well as uranium. Plutonium is the most dangerous radioactive material with a half-life of 24,000 years. If it is released in smoke and steam from a burning reactor, that plutonium can be inhaled and will contaminate soil downwind. Image by Japanese Defense Ministry.
Japanese fire truck spraying water on Fukushima Unit 3, the only reactor that contains MOX fuel, "mixed-oxide" that contains plutonium as well as uranium. Plutonium is the most dangerous radioactive material with a half-life of 24,000 years. If it is released in smoke and steam from a burning reactor, that plutonium can be inhaled and will contaminate soil downwind. Image by Japanese Defense Ministry.

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