Thursday, March 24, 2011

24 March 2011: Update

Here is the update for today:

Good News:
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* The workers at the Nuclear plant confirmed that the steel containment vessel around the core containing nuclear fuel on reactor no. 3 is in tact. So, only one out of the four reactors with problems is not suspected to have a damaged contaiment vessel.

* Temperature measurements from inside reactors (other than one) are now available. One reactors has a higher temperature than desired, but is stable (not heating up further). Additional sea water will be pumped in today to cool it.

* People who have young children are buying bottled water, but there is the attitude of "leave for the others, too!". The metropolitan government is distributing bottled water to families with infants, starting from today.

* Radiation levels South of the nuclear plant (towards Tokyo) have reduced gradually over the past couple of days.

* There is no increase of radiation levels near the plant.

Bad news:
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* Two of the workers got injured in an electricity-related accident while testing power connections at reactor no. 3 (they are being treated by a doctor who was flown to the place, and the injuries are not serious)

* Black smoke started coming out from one of the reactors, and this prevented the test run of its cooling pumps scheduled to yesterday's afternoon. Anyway, the smoke has since subsided and they will get back to work on it ASAP.

Panic News (if that is the right title):
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* 25 embassies in Tokyo are moving South to Osaka, Kobe and Nagoya. 14 of them are from Africa. It is evident that they have been influenced by a bigger country to do so, the usual petty diplomatics :-p

* The detected level of radiation in Tokyo's water is 190 Bk/kg, less than the Japanese standard for long term consumption (300 Bk/kg). Now we can scare the Europeans who believe in panic news, by saying "the limit for Europe is 500 Bk/kg, you might already be drinking more radioactive water!"

In unrelated news: A crow was making some noise in my balcony last morning. I went out to check and found out that she was trying to take a cloth-hanger made of wire. Must be building a nest. If she tries to do that at the apartment of a CNN reporter, we might see headlines such as "Severe Building Material Shortage in Tokyo" :-p

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