4th reactor now on fire at nuke plant in Japan; situation sounds out of control at the moment

UPDATE: From Kyodo News:

NEWS ADVISORY: Radiation of up to 9 times normal level briefly detected in Kanagawa
11:37 15 March

BREAKING NEWS: Radiation 400 times annual legal limit measured near No. 3 reactor

More from Kyodo News

Radiation is feared to have leaked after the container vessel suffered damage at the No. 2 reactor of the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant Tuesday morning, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The utility also admitted that a critical situation called ”meltdown” in which fuel rods melt and are destroyed is possible at the plant where three reactor cores are believed to have partially melted following Friday’s magnitude 9.0 earthquake that hit northeastern and eastern Japan.

An explosion was heard early Tuesday morning at the reactor and the radiation level temporarily shot up later, the firm said as it continued efforts to prevent overheating of exposed fuel rods.

Shortly after the apparent blast at 6:10 a.m., which appears to have damaged the reactor’s pressure-suppression system, the radiation level exceeded the legal limit to reach 965.5 micro sievert per hour before jumping to 8,217 micro sievert at 8:31 p.m., it said.

The maximum level is more than eight times the 1,000 micro sievert level to which people can be exposed in one year.

Top story on the NYT site:

Jesus. Read the NYT article we linked to earlier this evening – it’s a mess, and sounds out of control.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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