Open Thread & News Round-Up: Japan Reactor News

There are some new concerns about the state of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant today. As before, good information is difficult to come by, but below are links to some of what I've been reading this morning; please feel welcome and encouraged to leave additional links in comments.

ScienceJapan Radiation Map Roundup: "If you want to know what's going on, ask the nerds. As fears swelled over radiation from Japan's battered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the days after the 11 March quake, computer-savvy individuals around the globe had an immediate reaction: show people the data. Within days, individuals began tracking down and using the data to create interactive maps and graphs of radiation levels in Japan."

New York TimesTainted Water at 2 Reactors Increases Alarm for Japanese: "Japan's troubled effort to contain the nuclear contamination crisis at its stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered a setback on Sunday when alarmingly high radiation levels were discovered in a flooded area inside the complex, raising new questions about how and when recovery workers could resume their tasks. Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator, said the elevated radiation levels in the water, which had flooded the turbine buildings adjacent to the reactors at the plant, were at least four times the permissible exposure levels for workers at the plant and 100,000 times more than water ordinarily found at a nuclear facility."

GuardianJapan nuclear plant says partial meltdown caused water contamination: "High levels of radioactivity in water leaking from a reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant resulted from a partial meltdown of fuel rods, Japanese officials have said, amid growing fears that radiation may also have seeped into seawater and soil."

BBC—Humanitarian crisis gets outside help:
More than 190,000 people are living in temporary shelters.

For the first time since the disaster, the government has permitted a foreign medical team to enter the country to treat victims, the Japan Times reports.

The health ministry has lifted a ban on holders of foreign medical licences from practising in Japan, allowing a team of 53 medical aid workers from Israel, including 14 doctors and seven nurses, to work.

Some 20,000 US troops are bolstering Japan's Self-Defence Forces, delivering aid to some of the worst-hit areas in what is said to be the biggest bilateral humanitarian mission the US has conducted in Japan.
As more radioactive water spills, there are, quite obviously, increased concerns about the people living in temporary shelters.

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