The US 7th fleet has moved away from the Fukushima nuclear power plants after helicopters from the carrier Ronald Reagan were exposed to an airborne radioactive plume. Seventeen Navy personnel are being treated for what is described as “low levels of contamination.” Sensors aboard the carrier Ronald Reagan indicated that the ship had also been exposed to low level contamination. The carrier group had been roughly 100 miles away from the crippled reactors and has now moved so that that it is no longer down-wind of the power plants.
17 in U.S. Navy Treated for Contamination
There has been a second hydrogen explosion at a Fukushima today and a there is concern that a third reactor might also be at risk of explosion.
The risk of partial meltdown at a stricken nuclear power plant in Japan increased on Monday as cooling systems failed at a third reactor, possibly exposing its fuel rods, only hours after a second explosion at a separate reactor blew the roof off a containment building.
The two reactors where the explosions occurred are both presumed to have already suffered partial meltdowns — a dangerous situation that, if unchecked, could lead to a full meltdown.
Later Monday, Mr. Edano said cooling systems at a third reactor at Fukushia Daiichi had failed. The water level inside the reactor had fallen, exposing the fuel rods at its core despite emergency efforts to pump seawater into the reactor, he said.
On Monday morning, Tokyo Electric, which runs both plants, said it had restored the cooling systems at two of three reactors experiencing problems at Daini. That would leave a total of four reactors at the two plants with pumping difficulties.
Thanks to Phil Leon for passing several articles along.