Today is the 32nd anniversary of the worst U.S. nuclear accident, a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island power plant outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Although no deaths or injuries resulted, many of the concerns the public is expressing about the ultimate fate of the doomed Fukushima Dai-ichi plant were played out over five days in 1979 in the North East. Then, as now, it is difficult for the public to discern what the real status of the situation is.
Today a spokesperson for the Japanese government announced that the containment structure surrounding the No. 2 reactor at the nuclear power plant is damaged and may be leaking radioactive material. Tepco, the plant’s owner, then disclosed that small amounts of plutonium had been found among contaminants around the facility later today as Japanese authorities explained that how radioactive water was leaking into maintenance tunnels and possibly, into the Pacific Ocean.
The radiation level near the No 2 reactor is four times the top dose Japan’s Health Ministry has set for emergency workers struggling to control the further emission of radioactive material from the damaged plant and it is unclear what the status of ongoing efforts are, given the increased radiation levels.
Greenpeace is organizing vigils around the country to show support for the victims of the Japan disaster and ask for a nuclear-free world. Click here to find out about an event in your area tonight.