John on March 13, 2011 at 12:10 am
From the Washington Post:
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said officials were acting on the assumption that a meltdown could be underway at that reactor, Fukushima Daiichi’s unit 3, and that it was “highly possible” that a meltdown was underway at Fukushima Daiichi’s unit 1 reactor, where an explosion destroyed a building a day earlier.
Hours before he spoke, authorities began evacuating more than 200,000 residents from a 12.5-mile radius around Fukushima Daiichi and another nuclear power complex, made preparations to distribute potassium iodide pills, and warned people in the vicinity to stay inside and cover their mouths if they ventured outdoors.
According to this CNN report, they have pumped sea water into reactor #1, which is a measure of last resort:
Obviously if they can pump sea water in and prevent a meltdown at the other two reactors that’s good news. However, nearly a third of Japan’s electricity comes from nuclear power. Destroying three reactors in a week will almost certainly create long term energy problems for the nation. I understand that’s the least of their worries at the moment, but it could be a serious problem nevertheless.