Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan Goes Critical, Michael Mariotte of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service on What we Should Know

Talk Nation Radio for March 12, 2011

Michael Mariotte, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Japan Goes Critical, Is it a Meltdown? What to do? What should we know?

Sun. 3/13/11 Japan warning of second plant explosion could be imminent. Lost cooling at plant 3. BBC feed, "There's a failure of the valve at the No 3 reactor at Fukushima 1 power station. Not clear if this is cause of effect of the fact that gauge isn't showing rising water level".

Continue to monitor events at

7:00 through 8:00 PM EST CNN Headlines were. Meltdown Underway, then Meltdown Possible, then Officials tell IAEA the Core is Intact, What is really happening with Japanese Nuclear Reactor Cores? Clearly the information has not been adequate to international news and reporting services. We're doing our best to give you a sense of what is going on.

Produced by Dori Smith
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We speak with Michael Mariotte of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, NIRS about headline news on Japan's nuclear facilities that have begun to go critical. Japanese emergency workers at the plants have not been able to get the plants cooled despite applying sea water. From the NIRS site:FACT SHEET ON FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT PDF file

UPDATE, 5:30 pm, Saturday, March 12, 2011. Reuters reporting that Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 has lost cooling capability: This is of particular concern since, unlike all of the other reactors in trouble, Unit 3 has been using plutonium-based MOX (mixed oxide) fuel since September 10, 2010. Consequences of an accident at a MOX-powered reactor would be even more severe than at a more typical uranium-powered reactor.

UPDATE, 3:25 pm, Saturday, March 12, 2011. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports
that a total of 140,000 people have now been evacuated from zones 20 kilometers around Fukushima Daiichi and 10 kilometers around Fukushima Daini. The IAEA says that evacuation has not been completed.

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