14 March 2011: Satilite image of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility
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These past days have been hard for everyone in Japan, and the drama continued through these last 24 hours. The explosion at a second stricken reactor, Fukushima 1 (unit 3), was not entirely a surprise. Officials had warned of the possibility. But it was still shocking, and showed how little the situation was under control. Throughout the day and the night, reports from Japan were sometimes encouraging, sometimes frightening and sometimes contradictory.
Here's a wrap up quote from Jan Beranek, Head of Greenpeace International’s Nuclear Campaign:
Over the last day we have seen the crisis deepening, with the cores of reactors 1, 2 and 3 at Fukushima 1 probably experiencing some level of melting. Now we find ourselves in a deep nuclear crisis that is in serious danger of turning into a nuclear catastrophe. What we are hearing from both Japanese and French nuclear authorities suggest that the levels of contamination are becoming significant – this implies a potential risk to human health.”
We commend the heroism of the nuclear workers fighting to stabilize the current crisis, and seriously risking their health through exposure to radiation during what already appears to be second worst civilian nuclear reactor incident in history, after Chernobyl.
This afternoon, we changed our home page today to send a message of hope. It's a small thing, but I heard from our staff in Japan that they appreciated it. If you'd like to help, this page has suggestions for people both inside and outside Japan.
At Greenpeace, we'll continue to keep watch over the continuing nuclear crisis in Fukushima, and will keep you informed via this page and our Twitter account.
Update: The BBC reports there has been an explosion at a third nuclear reactor. Some staff have evacuated, others remain on site.