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REPORTING · 15th March 2011
Merv Ritchie
Update - Reports are now coming in the workers have returned as the radiation levels fluctuate.

It just keeps looking grim. The Japanese are even running from the reactor site. Not just the citizenry, but the workers who were attempting to stop the meltdown have just been evacuated.

Six reactors; each containing new uranium fuel rods or spent fuel rods, most apparently overheating and leaking radiation uncontrollably are now left on their own.

Yesterday all but the necessary reactor workers were pulled from the site, 50 remained. Tonight, Wednesday afternoon in Japan, the last 50 personnel were removed and the fuel was left to burn uncontrolled.


A rise in radiation levels at Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has forced workers to suspend operations, a government spokesman says.

He was speaking after smoke was seen rising from reactor three. Earlier, a blaze struck reactor four for the second time in two days.

Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, which killed thousands, damaged the plant's cooling functions.

The site has also been hit by four explosions, triggering radiation leaks.

France has urged its nationals living in Tokyo to leave the country or head to southern Japan because of the risk of radiation.

'On standby'

On Wednesday, Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news briefing that workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant had been withdrawn following the sudden rise in radiation levels.

It is believed that about 50 employees had been working at the plant - 220km (140 miles) north of Tokyo - to try to cool its four reactors and avert a meltdown.

Mr Edano also said that the radiation levels were now falling from 1,000 millisieverts on Wednesday morning to 600-800.

But that was still more than average, Mr Edano said, adding that "workers cannot carry out even minimal work at the plant now. Because of the radiation risk, we are on standby."

From AP Associated Press

Japan ordered emergency workers to withdraw from its stricken nuclear power complex Wednesday amid a surge in radiation, temporarily suspending efforts to cool overheating reactors.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the workers, who were dousing the reactors with seawater in a frantic effort to stabilize their temperatures, had no choice except to withdraw.

"The workers cannot carry out even minimal work at the plant now," Edano said. "Because of the radiation risk we are on standby."

Radiation levels had gone down by later Wednesday, but it was not immediately clear if the workers had been allowed back in.

northcoast reports
Comment by Sandy on 16th March 2011
There is lot's of info on how a nuclear meltdown will affect Vancouver but I have yet to hear how it will affect the North Coast and Haidi Gwaii. We are 1000 km closer to Japan then Vancouver. Is anyone watching out for the north?! Once again, if you live outside of the lower mainland or west of Prince George you don't count.
Comment by Maggie Johnson on 15th March 2011
Eeks! Where's that prayer book I used to host as a child?

After all...Ain't no atheist's in a foxhole, heh?