Nuclear disaster escalates in Japan

by Liza on Mar. 15th, 2011

The remaining 50 emergency workers were pulled from the Fukushima Daiichi plant tonight for an hour or so due to a spike in radiation levels. (They're back in, now. For more on just how much radioactivity nuclear operators can be exposed to, read this NYTimes article.) The disaster is now rated a 6 on the 7-point scale. Three Mile Island was a 5; Chernobyl was a 7. 200,000 people within a 12 mile radius of the power plant have been evacuated. Another 140,000 people within a 20 mile radius of the area have been told to stay inside, and a 19 mile no-fly zone has been imposed over the plant. The only good news tonight seems to be that the winds are blowing out to sea, helping to disperse the radiation away from populated areas.

This MSNBC update also includes a good infographic about how much radiation people are generally exposed to.

The Washington Post has a good interactive feature that sums up the crisis.

The NYTimes Green Blog is taking reader questions about the nuclear disaster, and will be posting answers tomorrow.

More in the morning...

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