Japan quake live blog: 'We're in an emergency, please help us'
Smoke fills the air in the badly damaged town of Yamada, Japan, in Iwate prefecture one day after the earthquake and tsunami.
March 12th, 2011
10:30 PM ET

Japan quake live blog: 'We're in an emergency, please help us'

An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan early Friday, triggering tsunamis that sent a wave filled with boats and houses toward land. Are you in an affected area? Send an iReport. Read the full report on how the quake hit Japan and generated a Pacific-wide tsunami.

[10:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. Tokyo] The 15-member Chinese rescue team is bound for the quake-hit region in Japan. The team's main task was to search for survivors, Yin Guanghui, deputy director of the China Earthquake Administration, said. The members of the Chinese International Search and Rescue are bringing four tons of materials and equipments for search and rescue as well as power supply and telecommunication services, Yin said.

[10:20 p.m. ET, 12:20 p.m. Tokyo] The death toll has climbed to 763. There are 639 missing and 1419 injured, according to Japan's national police agency.

[9:54 p.m. ET, 11:54 a.m. Tokyo] A meltdown may have occurred at at least one nuclear power reactor in Japan, the country's chief cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano, said Sunday.

He also said that authorities are concerned over the possibility of another meltdown at a second reactor.

"We do believe that there is a possibility that meltdown has occurred. It is inside the reactor. We can't see. However, we are assuming that a meltdown has occurred," he said of the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. "And with reactor No. 3, we are also assuming that the possibility of a meltdown as we carry out measures."

Edano's comments confirm an earlier report from an official with Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, who said, "we see the possibility of a meltdown."

A meltdown is a catastrophic failure of the reactor core, with a potential for widespread radiation release. However, Toshihiro Bannai, director of the agency's international affairs office, expressed confidence that efforts to control the crisis would be successful.

[9:35 p.m. ET, 11:35 a.m. Tokyo] A woman trapped in a secure building in downtown Sendai made a tearful plea to the world for help.

"Somehow, we can hang in there, I hope. We don't have any electric, water, gas... but please, help the people who lost their homes and the people on top of the buildings asking for help," Yasue Schumaker told CNN.

"We need foreign countries' help," she said, choking back tears. "We're in an emergency, please help us."

At least 49 countries and the European Union have offered relief to Japan, and supplies and personnel are on the way.

Schumaker, a resident of Hawaii originally from Sendai, had been visiting her hometown to care for her ailing mother.

Schumaker said people were too afraid to leave the building and no one knew when to expect help. Outside, she said she saw people sleeping in cars, perhaps reluctant to leave the safety of their vehicles for the cold weather.

[9:10 p.m. ET, 11:10 a.m. Tokyo] The U.S. State Department will on send a consular support team into the Sendai area near the earthquake's epicenter on Sunday, while adding personnel to the U.S. Tokyo embassy in an effort to aid American citizens. Ten U.S. Naval ships are bound for Japan carrying humanitarian aid and emergency crews in effort to aid in disaster relief, Anthony Falvo, a U.S. Navy Public Affairs Officer, said.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, along with a guided-missile cruiser and destroyer ship, arrived off Japan's coast Sunday morning to support Japanese forces in disaster relief operations, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement.

[8:47 p.m. ET, 10:47 a.m. Tokyo] A state of emergency has been declared for three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Roughly 180,000 people who live within 10 to 20 kilometers of the Daiichi plant are being evacuated.

[7:40 p.m. ET, 9:40 a.m. Tokyo] Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday that another reactor of its Fukushima nuclear power plants had lost its cooling functions, Kyodo News reports. The utility supplier notified the government Sunday morning that the No. 3 reactor at the No. 1 Fukushima plant had lost the ability to cool the reactor core. The reactor is now in the process of releasing radioactive steam, top government spokesman Yukio Edano said, according to Kyodo News.

It was the sixth reactor overall at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants to undergo cooling failure since the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck Japan on Friday.

[6:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 a.m. Tokyo] 15 more people in the vicinity of Fukushima Daiichi's nuclear power plants have been exposed to radioactivity, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency has confirmed, according to Kyodo News.

[6:34 p.m. ET, 8:34 a.m. Tokyo] An aftershock was just felt in Sendai, CNN staff in Japan reports, the latest in a series of aftershocks to rock the quake zone since Friday's 8.9-magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami.

"People here in Japan are quite used to earthquakes," CNN's Anna Coren said. "The concern is more quakes, more aftershocks could cause more tsunamis. That's what people are worried about."

Since the initial earthquake, there have been 250 aftershocks above 5.0 and almost 50 above 6.0, CNN's Chad Meyers said.

[6:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 a.m. Tokyo] There is currently no evidence of a nuclear meltdown at one of Fukushima Daiichi's nuclear power reactors in northern Japan, Japan's ambassador to the United States said.

"There was a concern about this reactor. We have confirmed that there was a blowup but it was not a blowup of reactor nor container. It was a blowup of the outer building so there was no leakage of the radioactive material," Ichiro Fujisaki told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"We are now trying to cope with the situation by putting salt water into the reactor," he said. "There are some other issues with other reactors as well, which need also injection of water or taking out vapor because of increasing pressure into the container and we are now working on it."

When asked if there may be a nuclear meltdown, Fujisaki said, "we do not see any evidence of that at this time."

Engineers have been unable to get close enough to the core to know what's going on, an official with Japan's nuclear and industrial safety agency told CNN Sunday. He based his conclusion on the fact that they measured radioactive cesium and radioactive iodine in the air Saturday night.

[5:48 p.m. ET, 7:48 a.m. Tokyo] A meltdown may be under way at one of Fukushima Daiichi's nuclear power reactors, an official with Japan's nuclear and industrial safety agency told CNN Sunday.

A meltdown is a catastrophic failure of the reactor core, with a potential for widespread radiation release. However, Toshiro Bannai, director of the agency's international affairs office, expressed confidence that efforts to control the crisis would prove successful.

Meanwhile, a second reactor at the same facility failed shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said, according to TV Asahi. The power company said it was having difficulty cooling the reactor and may need to release radioactive steam in order to relieve pressure.

[5:10 p.m. ET, 7:10 a.m. Tokyo] Six canine disaster search teams trained have been deployed to Japan as part of Los Angeles County Task Force 2, Search Dog Foundation said Saturday. The 72-member team was mobilized by USAID and is being sent into the disaster zone along with Virginia Task Force 2. Per USAID, some 75 tons of rescue supplies and equipment for each Task Force are being delivered to the devastated region via military transport. Once on the ground, the job of SDF’s teams will be to comb the wreckage in search of live victims.

[4:57 p.m. ET, 6:57 a.m. Tokyo] Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea were closed on Saturday to carry out emergency safety checks, Kyodo News reports. The operator said the closure will probably last about 10 days. In Tokyo's Akihabara district, the operator of AKB Theater, a concert hall for exclusive use by all-girl pop idol group AKB48, said the same day the facility will be closed until Tuesday for a similar reason.

[4:48 p.m. ET, 6:48 a.m. Tokyo] The lights were turned off Saturday night at some of the best known landmarks in major Japanese cities after trouble at a Fukushima nuclear plant caused by Friday's massive earthquake prompted calls for electricity savings, Kyodo News reported.

The operator of Tokyo Tower said the move also reflects an intention to express condolences for the victims of the earthquake. Similar decisions were taken with regard to the Tsutenkaku Tower in Osaka, Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo and Bay Bridge in Yokohama, all of which are usually lit up at night, Kyodo reported.

[3:37 p.m. ET, 5:37 a.m. Tokyo] Japanese authorities have informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that the explosion at Unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant occurred outside the primary containment vessel, not inside, the agency said Saturday. The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has confirmed that the integrity of the primary containment vessel remains intact.

As a countermeasure to limit damage to the reactor core, TEPCO proposed that sea water mixed with boron be injected into the primary containment vessel. This measure was approved by Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and the injection procedure began at 8:20 p.m. local Japan time, the agency said. Japan has reported that four workers at Fukushima Daiichi were injured by the explosion, the IAEA said.

[3:17 p.m. ET, 5:17 a.m. Tokyo] The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sent two officials with expertise in boiling water nuclear reactors to Japan as part of USAID team.

[2:56 p.m. ET, 4:46 a.m. Tokyo] - There have been no reports of U.S. citizens killed or injured in Japan in the wake of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, according to the U.S. State Department statement. The U.S. State Department will send a consular support team on Sunday into the Sendai area near the earthquake's epicenter, while adding personnel to the U.S. Tokyo embassy in an effort to aid American citizens.

The National Weather Service on Saturday cancelled tsunami advisories for the immediate coastal areas of central and southern California, while warning residents of continued tidal surges in harbors across the region.

[1:20 p.m. ET, 3:20 a.m. Tokyo] Authorities have begun radiation exposure testing around Fukushima prefecture where three people - randomly selected out of a group of 90 - have tested positive for radiation poisoning, according to Japan's government broadcaster, NHK.

[1:14 p.m. ET, 3:14 a.m. Tokyo] Long lines persisted at food stores and at the pump as concern grew in Tokyo that food and fuel shortages may arise in the aftermath of the earthquake.

[1:10 p.m. ET, 3:10 a.m. Tokyo] Gas sales in Tokyo were being limited to 20 liters (5.3 gallons) per car.

[1:04 p.m. ET, 3:04 a.m. Tokyo] Missionaries in Japan serving the U.S.-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have all been accounted for and are considered safe, the church said Saturday.

[12:27 p.m. ET, 2:27 a.m. Tokyo] Two hundred-fifteen Chinese tour groups visiting Japan have been confirmed as safe, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the country's National Tourism Administration. More than 4,500 Chinese tourists were in Japan at the time of the quake and tsunami, the agency reported.

[11:49 a.m. ET, 1:49 a.m. Tokyo] Japan public broadcaster NHK reported the country's Defense Ministry had sent a unit that specializes in dealing with radioactive contamination to a command post near the stricken plant.

[11:48 a.m. ET, 1:48 a.m. Tokyo] The British government will dispatch a team of 59 fire service search and rescue specialists, two rescue dogs and a medical support team to join the international relief effort in Japan.  They will take up to 11 tons of specialist rescue equipment, including heavy lifting and cutting equipment to save the lives of people who are trapped in the debris.

[10:51 a.m. ET, 12:51 a.m. Tokyo] About 50,000 Japan Self-Defense Force personnel were being deployed Saturday in quake and tsunami relief efforts, according to a Kyodo report in The Japan Times. Japan's Defense Ministry said 190 aircraft and 25 ships were involved in the effort, according to the report.

[10:23 a.m. ET, 12:23 a.m. Tokyo] In Shiroishi, a town near the area hardest hit by the quake, two SH-60 helicopters from U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi delivered 1,500 pounds of rice and bread donated by people in Ebina, southeast of Tokyo, the U.S. 7th Fleet, said in a statement Saturday.

[10:03 a.m. ET, 12:03 a.m. Tokyo] Japan's government has ordered the evacuation of residents within 20 kilometers of one nuclear power plant and within 10 kilometers of a second. More than 83,000 people live within 10 kilometers of the two plants, according to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

[9:48 a.m. ET, 11:48 p.m. Tokyo] Tokyo Electric Power Company warned Saturday that many areas could experience blackouts as quake and tsunami damage has forced power plants to shut down and put a strain on electrical supplies, the Japan Times reported. As of noon Saturday Japan time, 5.1 million households were without power, according to the report.

[9:04 a.m. ET, 11:04 p.m. Tokyo] An estimated 6.4-magnitude earthquake has hit near the east coast of Honshu - the latest in a series of aftershocks striking on and around Japan's largest island in the past 24 hours. The aftershock occurred at 10:15 p.m. and just 82 kilometers (about 50 miles) from Fukushima, where officials are assessing a nuclear reactor damaged by Friday's earthquake and tsunami.

[8:49 a.m. ET, 10:49 p.m. Tokyo] The walls of a concrete building surrounding the reactor container at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant collapsed in an explosion, but the reactor and its containment system were not damaged, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

[8:37 a.m. ET, 10:37 p.m. Tokyo] About 9,500 people are unaccounted for in the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture , officials said Saturday, according to Kyodo News Service. The figure is more than half of the population of 17,000 in the town on the Pacific coast, they said.

[8:35 a.m. ET, 10:35 p.m. Tokyo] Japanese authorities are making plans to distribute stable iodine, a treatment to prevent radiation poisoning, to residents near two damaged nuclear plants, the International Atomic Energy Agency says.

[8:03 a.m. ET, 10:03 p.m. Tokyo] An explosion at an earthquake-damaged nuclear plant was not caused by damage to the nuclear reactor but by a pumping system that failed as crews tried to bring the reactor's temperature down, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Saturday.

The next step for workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant will be to flood the reactor containment structure with sea water to bring the reactor's temperature down to safe levels, he said.  The effort is expected to take two days.

Radiation levels have fallen since the explosion and there is no immediate danger, Edano said.

[8:01 a.m. ET, 10:01 p.m. Tokyo] U.S. Marine Corps cargo aircraft and helicopters were being dispatched from bases on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to mainland Japan to help in quake and tsunami relief efforts, the III Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement.

[7:54 a.m. ET, 9:54 p.m. Tokyo] Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan called the natural disaster that struck his country Friday "unprecedented" and said the quake caused a bigger tsunami than expected. Kan said that "we'd first like to focus on saving lives and secondly the comfort of the evacuees" and "there will be many resources that will be needed for this evacuation process."

[7:24 a.m. ET, 9:24 p.m. Tokyo] Dozens of aftershocks from Friday's 8.9-magnitude earthquake jolted Japan on Saturday. Four of Saturday's temblors were of magnitude 6.0 or above, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

[7:07 a.m. ET, 9:07 p.m. Tokyo] Fires were burning at more than 200 locations in 12 prefectures after Friday's earthquake and tsunami, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported, citing the nation's Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

[6:54 a.m. ET, 8:54 p.m. Tokyo] The explosion at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant was not caused by the nuclear reactor but by "water vapor that was part of the cooling process," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Saturday. He said no harmful gases had been emitted by the explosion.

[6:44 a.m. ET, 8:44 p.m. Tokyo] Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan confirms that the evacuation area around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been increased to 20 kilometers. But no one has been harmed by radiation, he says.

[6:23 a.m. ET, 8:23 p.m. Tokyo] No people were visible Saturday in the streets of Minamisoma, Japan, a city whose population on Friday had been 70,000. All that was left of many structures were their foundations. Only concrete and steel buildings appeared to have withstood the wash.

[6:18 a.m. ET, 8:18 p.m. Tokyo] Authorities extended the evacuation area around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to 20 kilometers, Kyodo News Agency reported.

[6:11 a.m. ET, 8:11 p.m. Tokyo] The roof of a reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant collapsed following an explosion around 3:30 p.m. (1:30 a.m. ET), Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported, citing Tokyo Electric Power Company.

[5:59 a.m. ET, 7:59 p.m. Tokyo] The powerful earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami Friday appears to have moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet (2.4 meters) and shifted the Earth on its axis, a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist reports.

[5:17 a.m. ET, 7:17 p.m. Tokyo] Friday's earthquake and tsunami crippled cooling systems at two Japanese nuclear power plants and workers were working Saturday to contain temperatures.

"This is a situation that has the potential for a nuclear catastrophe. It's basically a race against time, because what has happened is that plant operators have not been able to cool down the core of at least two reactors," said Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington.

[4:47 a.m. ET, 6:47 p.m. Tokyo] At least seven homes sustained substantial tsunami damage on Hawaii's Big Island, including one that was pulled into a bay. Hotels in Kailua-Kona also reported damage. CNN affiliate KHON has a full report.

[4:22 a.m. ET, 6:22  p.m. Tokyo] The Tokyo Electric Company said four workers were injured in an explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. NHK said the injured workers were in the process of cooling a nuclear reactor at the plant by injecting water into its core.

[3:46 a.m. ET, 5:46  p.m. Tokyo] Rescuers plucked dazed survivors from collapsed homes, muddy waters and raging fires Saturday, a day after a powerful earthquake tore through Japan and unleashed waves that swallowed entire towns along the coast.

More than 900 were killed and about 700 others were missing Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported. The number is expected to go up as rescuers reach more hard-hit areas.

The  8.9-magnitude quake was centered about 130 kilometers (80 miles) from Sendai, a farming and fishing region battling to stay ahead following decades of brain drain from its youth moving to  the capital of Tokyo.

[3:08 a.m. ET, 5:08  p.m. Tokyo] An explosion has been reported near a nuclear plant in northeastern Japan's Fukushima prefecture, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing the country's nuclear and industrial safety agency.

[2:19 a.m. ET, 4:19  p.m. Tokyo] A small amount of  radioactive Cesium has escaped into the air surrounding a nuclear plant in northeastern Japan's Fukushima prefecture, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Agency said.

The agency said there was a strong possibility that this was caused by the melting of a  fuel rod, adding that plant engineers were continuing to cool the fuel rods by  pumping water around the rods.

[2:17 a.m. ET, 4:17  p.m. Tokyo] Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported Saturday that the death toll after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami is more than 900, with about 700 others reported missing.

Earlier Saturday the nation's Kyodo News News Agency, citing police, reported that the death toll was 433, with at least 784 missing.

The official death toll is likely to rise as authorities continue rescue and relief efforts in the worst-hit areas.

[2:00 a.m. ET, 9:00 p.m. Hawaii]
Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a "State of Disaster  Proclamation" after the tsunami caused millions of dollars or damages as it swept through the islands. The proclamation will allow Hawaii to get federal funds to help rebuild, the governor said in a statement.

[12:00 a.m. ET, 2:00 p.m. Tokyo]
The death toll from the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan rose to 433, the nation's Kyodo News reported Saturday. At least 784 are missing, Kyodo said, citing police.

[11:01 p.m. ET, 1:01 p.m. Tokyo] At least 398 people are dead and 805 are missing after the massive earthquake in Japan, the Kyodo News Agency reported Saturday. Earlier, the news agency said the death toll from the massive earthquake would likely surpass 1,000.

[10:01 p.m. ET, 12:01 p.m. Tokyo] As rescue crews continue to account for the damage caused by the country's largest earthquake on record, people in Japan on Saturday are struggling to contact loved ones near the hardest hit areas.

Lucy Craft, a freelance correspondent in Tokyo, has a teenage son at a high school near the epicenter in Sendai, northeast of Tokyo. More than 18 hours after the quake, she hadn't been able to make contact.

"The phone lines are still down... I haven't been able to get in touch with him by cell phone, I haven't been able to contact anybody there. I have his teacher's phone number," Craft said Saturday morning in Tokyo. "It's a very upsetting situation, as you can imagine."

[10:32 p.m. ET, 12:32 p.m. Tokyo] Residents of northern Japan streamed south from their earthquake-stricken hometowns Saturday, crowding stores in search of vital supplies as rescue teams worked north toward the historic quake's epicenter.

Roads and buildings showed cracks as far away as 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Sendai, the closest city to the epicenter. One man told CNN the scene in towns hit by the quake and the resulting tsunami was "unimaginable."

Shoppers were polite but tense as they sought food, water and gasoline from stores where shelves were quickly emptied and pumps soon ran dry.

soundoff (378 Responses)
  1. esther

    Please use more credible experts on matters like nuclear discussions. Anyone who sprinkles his discussion with prefaces of "I imagine that..." does NOT count as an authority. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of speculation going on about the status of the nuclear plants and even more conjecturing from non-credible sources like Bill Nye. Unfortunately much of the American public is not education enough to discern when they are being fed simplistic but erroneous info.

    March 12, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    Let's send charlie sheen over there. He will be able to prevent another meltdown from occurring with his tiger blood.

    March 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ralph zak

    I find a complete lack of understanding of nuclear power plants in your reporting. You need some simple diagrams and then you need to fit your reporting in with them.

    In a boiling water reactor plant, the nuclear vessel/ boiler normally operates at about 540psi (lbs per sq inch). it is about 20 feet in diameter. it is designed for about 1000 psi, which is where most fossil fueled boilers operate. the water level is normally kept above the top of the fuel rods, and which by the heat generated in the fuel, boils the water which turns to steam and is piped to a turbine to generate power. Upon shutdown, control rods are inserted into the core between control rods, which absorb the neutrons which otherwise would cause the uranium to split generating energy. However, there are radioactive daughter products from the prior fission process which continue to decay releasing more heat, though much less than the fission process. It is this residual heat that must be removed by cooling the reactor core.

    the reactor sits inside a steel containment vessel about twice its diameter (40 feet) which is designed to hold the reactor and the much of the critical equipment and pumps which circulate the water in the reactor. The steel containment has concrete around it, generally about 3 feet thick to act as shielding to the outside so there is little normal radiation exposure in the surrounding building.

    Below the reactor is a separate chamber full of water. There are relief valves on the reactor vessel to allow excess pressure from steam to be vented and condensed in the pool. During the fission process, some of the resulting products from splitting uranium are gases. Some water also splits into hydrogen and oxygen. Normally the hydrogen, oxygen and any gaseous fission products which leak from the fuel rods themselves go with the steam into the turbine and are treated and vented after allowing significant time delay so the normal radiation releases from any of these gases that are radioactive can delay to where the release is about 1% max of normal background radiation. The stainless steel fuel rods normally have some minor cracks and allow trace elements of these gases to be released into the steam. That is how they get there normally in small amounts.

    If some of the fuel rods are exposed by the water level dropping which reduces the cooling, they may melt some of the stainless casing or crack, releasing more than normal amounts of the fission products into the reactor. If the pressure in the reactor is being controlled both by dumping water in and also manually venting some steam into the suppression pool below the reactor, some of these fission products and the hydrogen and oxygen from the dissociation of water in the reactor will be vented into the containment atmosphere.

    Now the whole containment designed for about 40 psi sits inside a "reactor bldg" which is designed as a secondary containment vessel. This is a huge building, like a 20 story building designed to withstand 2-3 psi. From all descriptions you have reported, it sounds like this secondary containment had an explosion. Normally there would be no hydrogen outside the primary containment. However, hydrogen would tend to collect at the top of the primary containment as it is light, like oil floating on water. if there were a concern about hydrogen buildup in the containment and a possible explosion, I suspect the operations people might have vented the top of the primary containment into the reactor building. If the Hydrogen content exceeds 4%, it is flammable. I believe at about 8% it can be explosive if ignited. Would have to check the exact number as I have not been designing these plants since the 70s.

    If the containment was not intentionally vented into the reactor bldg, then there might be some small leak in the containment itself. hundreds of pipes and electrical conduits pass out of the containment into the reactor building. These all have metal seals that are welded to the steel containment structure, but in a 40 year old plant, or from the earthquake, there is a slight chance one of these seals has a leak. but since all the external radiation levels are in decline, it sounds more like hydrogen was vented intentionally from the primary containment around the reactor into the reactor building. somehow, there may have been enough hydrogen to breach the secondary containment in an explosion.

    I hope this is helpful.

    March 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rob

    This is how Godzilla started!

    March 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Don

    Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.

    March 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff L

    I just joined this website solely for the purpose of asking you to get Bill Nye off the air. He has no idea what he is talking about. Cesium control rods? Boron being something extraordinary that they are adding to the seawater, and he suggested they may be getting it from borax? A reactor meltdown is way too serious of an event to put on an "expert" who has no idea what he is talking about. If CNN cares about its credibility, he will not be back.

    March 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Don

    And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

    And when you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, fear ye not. For such things must needs be, but the end is not yet.

    And this was his dream: Behold there were voices, and tumults, and thunders, and earthquakes, and a disturbance upon the earth.

    For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places:

    For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and famines. These things are the beginning of sorrows.

    And there shall be great earthquakes in divers places, and pestilences, and famines, and terrors from heaven; and there shall be great signs.

    March 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Don

    And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

    And when you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, fear ye not. For such things must needs be, but the end is not yet.

    And this was his dream: Behold there were voices, and tumults, and thunders, and earthquakes, and a disturbance upon the earth.

    For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places:

    For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and famines. These things are the beginning of sorrows.

    And there shall be great earthquakes in divers places, and pestilences, and famines, and terrors from heaven; and there shall be great signs.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. brian

    Who was the IDIOT nuclear "expert" that was just on CNN stating there is no danger and the rods have not been uncovered at the nuclear plants? Where does CNN find these idiots trying to cover up the truth?

    March 12, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. regertz

    Well done, China. God help your brave team. pir guys, and above all, the poor folks trapped in Sendai and other places. What a nightmare. I hope it helps to say help is coming as fast as it can, guys and no one, believe me, has forgotten you.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. regertz

    Well done, China. God help your brave team. our guys, and above all, the poor folks trapped in Sendai and other places. What a nightmare. I hope it helps to say help is coming as fast as it can, guys and no one, believe me, has forgotten you.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nick Fielder

    CNN Try to get a person from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to come on a give a factual explanation of what is going on.
    Bill Nye is worst than a joke. His information is dangerous.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lenee

    Just curious I wrote a post up and I do not see it? I was not being racist or anything.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Retrojeep

    What concerns me over the Reactors Melting down, the West Coast of the USA is down wind...

    March 12, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noriffraff

      you my friend don't obviously understand that more than you – there are 60 other million people in closer proximity to you... show some understanding pls....

      March 13, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • OhMy

      quote Noriffraff:
      "you my friend don't obviously understand that more than you – there are 60 other million people in closer proximity to you... show some understanding pls...."

      If you had any compassion, stranger, you'd understand that an entire coastline of the USA and Canada IS right in the path of the FIRST water born and possibly airborn contamination after it travels across OPEN SEA...furthermore, it is Washington State and Oregon in the middle where the main currents split to head north and south, so IF 3 or so reactors melt all to hell....a LOT of things will be contaminated, may not be able to fish the pacific ocean for YEARS...yes many people in other countries are going to be affected...shame on you for giving him a hard time for being concerned....wow...at least he is expressing concern for his fellow man.

      March 13, 2011 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. Lenee

    Please take into consideration of every individuals beliefs. Thank you. Lets all just pray to whoever we pray to and see that this whole disaster gets taken care of and the people get the help they need!

    March 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
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