Doom File: 7.1 quake hits NE Japan, damages second nuke plant, contaminated water leaks reported; currents carry Fukushima’s radioactive seawater northward

Northeast Japan, already devastated by a 9-magnitude earthquake that generated a massive tsunami on March 11, killing nearly 18,000, endured another large shaker last night. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports that a second nuclear plant, Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture (pictured here), has sustained significant damage, resulting in radioactive leaks:

Tohoku Electric Power Company, which runs the Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant in Miyagi Prefecture, said water had spilled onto the floor at all three of the plant’s reactors. The company also said it found water leaks at five locations in the plant, including inside buildings housing the reactors. The operator said the blowout panels, devices designed to control pressure inside the buildings, were damaged at reactor No. 3. The plant’s operations have been suspended since a 9-magnitude earthquake on March 11.  At least two people have died and more than 100 were injured by the April 7 aftershock.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was severely damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, suffered no serious damage but workers struggling with repair work were briefly evacuated.

Prevailing westerly winds have carried small amounts of radioactive fallout from the crippled Fukushima plant to the west coast of North America, contaminating dairy cattle in Washington, California, and Arizona, although US health officials deny Americans face any serious health threat from Japan’s nuclear disaster. Canadian officials have also detected a radiation spike in that country’s Pacific coast province of British Columbia.

Last night’s quake left more than 500,000 homes without power. More than 15,000 people are still missing as a result of the March 11 quake. Radioactive levels in seawater near Fukushima City are 2,800 times the legal limit, endangering Japan’s US$5.4 billion per year fishing industry. The  radioactive material was likely to be carried northward by ocean currents, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing the governments’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

One response to “Doom File: 7.1 quake hits NE Japan, damages second nuke plant, contaminated water leaks reported; currents carry Fukushima’s radioactive seawater northward

  1. mn8 April 9, 2011 at 2:16 am

    Mark 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these the beginnings of sorrows.

    Glad to see you back.

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