March 16, 2011 by staff
Slowmoving Japan, The workers were ordered to withdraw briefly from a nuclear power plant hit Japan today, after the radiation levels increased, Kyodo news reported, a development that suggested the crisis was spiraling out of control.
Hours earlier, another fire broke out in the quake crippled the plant, which sent low levels of radiation that float in Tokyo over the past 24 hours, triggering fear in the capital and international alarm.
France has urged its nationals to be leaving Japan or head south and have asked Air France to provide evacuation plans. In a statement, the French embassy in Tokyo these two planes were already en route to the capital.
Academics and nuclear experts said the proposed solutions to curb leaks of radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have been the efforts of the last chance to curb what could well be remembered as one of the worst industrial disasters.
“It’s a slow nightmare,” said Thomas Neff, a researcher affiliated with the Center for International Studies, part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Concerns had been mounting that the skeleton crews deal with the crisis might not be big enough, or were perhaps exhausted after working for days since the earthquake last Friday damaged the facilities. Authorities have removed workers on Tuesday, leaving only 50. All who remained were withdrawn for almost an hour because radiation levels were too high, but later allowed to return, officials said.
The fate of hundreds of thousands of homeless by the earthquake and tsunami that followed was worse at night after a cold snap that has snow in some areas most affected.
While the official death toll stands at about 4,000, more than 7,000 are missing and the figure will increase.
- Jack Knox column: Where is the world draws its power if the nuclear plants are rejected? A3
- Two students from Vancouver Island on an exchange program in the afflicted region of Sendai in Japan are welcome home, A8
- The search for bodies in dark environment Onagawa growing fear that the missing are dead, A8
- Ask whether the tectonic plates are becoming more active because of human activity, A8
- Review: Why Japan has taken risks of nuclear, A10
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