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« Cameco Corporation rallies back | Main | Uranium Stocks Down in early trading »

Another Blast at Japanese Nuclear Power Plant

The hydrogen explosion at Fukushima.JPG

A fresh explosion at Japan's quake-stricken nuclear power plant has damaged the roof above the latest reactor to suffer cooling problems, local media report.

The plant's operator says radiation levels in the air surrounding the complex rose four-fold to 8,217 microsieverts an hour, but Japanese authorities say levels would need to reach 1 million or so before causing large-scale radiation sickness.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) said on Monday fuel rods at the reactor were fully exposed when water levels in the unit suddenly dropped.

Technicians later resumed pumping seawater into the reactor, and an explosion was heard on Tuesday in the building surrounding it.

Two explosions have already rocked the housing of two other reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant following Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami, but authorities have said these had not damaged the reactor vessels.

As technicians tackle the nuclear emergency, authorities are grappling with the devastation from the quake and tsumani which is feared to have killed more than 10,000 people.

Meanwhile, Japan has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to send a team of experts and has requested from the United States additional equipment to help provide water and other resources to keep the reactors cool.

Earlier, Tepco said it had restored the cooling systems at two of the three reactors experiencing problems at the nearby Fukushima No. 2 plant, some 11km to the sout

Europe reviews nuclear safety

France's nuclear authority says the Fukushima failure could be on par with the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown in the United States.

The emergency has prompted Germany and Switzerland to halt nuclear programs as European governments scramble to review safety.

About 150 reactors are scattered across the continent in half as many nuclear power plants - some located in seismic areas.

The European Union has convened emergency talks of energy ministers, national nuclear safety officials and big nuclear companies. Italy and Poland have decided to rethink prior decisions to invest in nuclear energy.

Some of this could well be sabre rattling as they don’t really have a credible alternative. We just cannot see France for instance dismantling their nuclear power plants, however, in the short term we are in for a rough ride.

Radio NZ logo 15 march 2011.JPG


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Reader Comments (1)

Interesting article. So what does this mean in investing in uranium stocks at present?

March 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjames purcell

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