Japan Declares Emergency As Nuclear Plant’s Cooling Function Fails

Japan Declares Emergency As Nuclear Plant’s Cooling Function Fails

It’s being labelled a precautionary measure, but reportedly the Japanese government has issued a state of emergency plea after a cooling system failure at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. This comes after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan earlier today.

According to an administrator at the plant, the situation was “not going as planned”, but that there wasn’t any radioactive leakage or damage at the time.

Update: A second nuclear facility, the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, is reporting a quake-related mechanical failure affecting its cooling function. No radiation leaks have been detected at the moment, but CNN reports Japanese officials are “bracing for the worst”, and thousands are being urged to evacuate or stay indoors.

Japan’s shut down the four nuclear plants closest to the quake’s epicentre to avoid similar failures.

Update 2: The US has organised a delivery of coolant to the Japanese nuclear plant, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “We just had our Air Force assets in Japan transport some really important coolant to one of the nuclear plants,” Clinton said.

[Reuters and MSNBC]

Image Credit: Panoramio