(NaturalNews) Here's the latest on the Fukushima nuclear power plant situation as it is unfolding in Japan:
• Yesterday Japanese nuclear power officials announced that radiation levels in Reactor No. 2 had risen to 10 million times the "normal" level. This was widely reported in the BBC and elsewhere (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific...
). Today, Tokyo Electric Power says that reading was a mistake, and they retracted it, blaming it on operator error (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/27/...
• Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a New York Times article that Japan is still "far from the end of this accident" and that the fight to get the radiation under control could go on for weeks or even months. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/world/asia...
• The leak in Reactor No. 2 is still causing an extremely dangerous amount of radiation to escape the core. When questioned, officials explain they don't know where the leak is actually coming from, but they admit it "almost certainly" has to be coming from the reactor core
• There is now a growing problem of where to put all the radioactive water
that's building up in the reactor units. There are currently "tens of thousands of gallons" of radioactive water to be dealt with, and not enough storage areas in which to put it all (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/a...
). You can't just release the water directly into the environment because it's too radioactive.
• The radioactive fallout from Fukushima
has now reached northeast China, where small amounts of iodine-131 are now being picked up by sensors there (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/...
• Huge anti-nuclear marches took place in Germany over the weekend as protesters rallied to force the nation to abandon any future plans involving nuclear power (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12872...
). One protester told the BBC, "I came here to call for nuclear reactors to be stopped because I firmly intend to die of old age rather than radiation
The bottom line in all this is that the Fukushima situation is far from stable
and may yet get worse. Even in a best-case scenario, the situation will require weeks -- if not months -- of additional work to get under control. And that will still leave Japan with radioactive
fallout and over 1700 tons of spent nuclear fuel to deal with.
The impact on Japan's food and water supply -- not to mention the oceans -- will remain quite serious for a long time to come. This is a crisis that will be dealt with across many generations even if things go well from this point forward. The total radiation emitted from Fukushima may yet exceed that amount emitted from Chernobyl, by the way. We won't know until it's really over and contained, and that will probably take several months.
In the mean time, let's all hope they can keep the spent fuel rods sufficiently cooled to prevent any further catastrophic releases of radiation.
Read NaturalNews for more updates as the Fukushima situation unfolds.