Thursday, March 17, 2011

Emperor Akihito addresses the nation over Fukushima blast

Following the disasters that struck Japan on 11 March, Emperor Akihito on Wednesday expressed his deep concern regarding the worsening development over the explosions at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi, in a report by The Guardian.
In a rare public address, the 77-year-old Akihito called on the public via the television to "work together to overcome the country's worst crisis since the Second World War."
He also said that the events surrounding the nuclear plant incidents were "unpredictable" that prompted 70 workers to be pulled out following spikes of radiation levels were detected and thereby delayed the efforts to bring back the situation to safety levels.
Describing the blasts to be on an "unprecedented scale," the symbolic figure said, "I am deeply hurt by the grievous situation in the affected areas."

The attached YouTube video shows the speech of the respected ceremonial head--the first time in the country for a reigning emperor to speak to the public on television--a historic and exceptional address that is usually reserved in times of war and extreme crisis.
On 12 March, four people were hurt when the Reactor Unit 1 exploded that tore off the wall and roof of the outer containment vessel but leaving the reactor intact, CNN said.
A hydrogen explosion happened at Reactor Unit 3 after the Reactor Unit 1 blasted. The outer frame of the building was torn. The unit is under inspection and not operational at this time.
On 14 March, workers said the Reactor Unit 2 was unstable that prompted them to spray seawater to prevent further damage to the reactor but the effort did not work.
On 15 March, Reactor Unit 2 exploded that damaged the inner steel containment vessel. The cores of both reactors may have partially melted. Radiation levels were reported to be increasing. Many plant staff were evacuated but a few remained, the so called Fukushima 50.
Reactor Unit 4 was set ablaze shortly after the Reactor Unit 2 exploded. Due to the pressure buildup, the reactor erupted. Seawater and boric acid were injected in order to contain the incident.
Reactor Units 5 and 6 were not operational when the earthquake struck.
In a blog entry by Paul Atkinson, he said "Experts do not see there being a possibility of a health problem for residents in Tokyo. The radiation levels would need to be hundreds of times higher than current to cause the possibility for health issues, and that, in their opinion, is not going to happen."
He also said, "Information being provided by Japanese authorities is being independently monitored by a number of organizations and is deemed to be accurate, as far as measures of radioactivity levels are concerned."
Details of this report here.

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