By Max Clarke
Fears continue in Japan of a partial meltdown at the earthquake damaged Fukushima nuclear powerstation. The plant, owned and operated by the publically traded TEPCO corporation, is Japan's fourth largest, with 6 turbines generating upwards of 4,000MW power.
At one minute past eleven this morning, Japanese time, a third explosion- believed to be from a hydrogen gas build up- injured 4 TEPCO workers and 2 others, though all are said to be conscious. It is believed that that the containment velssel has not been damaged and that radioactive materials have not been leaked to the environment.
Three of the plant’s 6 turbines suffered a failure of its water injection ‘Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System’, renewing fears of a nuclear disaster as authorities battle to cool the turbines by pumping in seawater.
Radiation levels near the damaged 6th turbine are a reported 20μSv/h, although figures as high as 1020- equivalent to a years’ safe dosage for humans, have also been reported.
The quake- the fifth largest anywhere in the world-measured 8.9 on the logarithmic magnitude scale, and experts predict aftershocks measuring up to 7.0 (equal to the Haiti earthquake last year) could still wreak havoc on the country’s recovery efforts.