Is it time yet?

New York reporting

April 12 Japan has raised its assessment of the accident at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from 5 to 7, the worst rating on an international scale, putting the disaster on par with the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, in an acknowledgement that the human and environmental consequences of the nuclear crisis could be dire and long-lasting. While the amount of radioactive materials released so far from Fukushima Daiichi so far has equaled about 10 percent of that released at Chernoby, officials said that the radiation release from Fukushima could, in time, surpass levels seen in 1986.

April 11 A strong aftershock off Japan’s Pacific coast briefly set off a tsunami warning and knocked out cooling at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for almost an hour, underscoring the vulnerability of the plant’s reactors to continuing seismic activity along the coast a month after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Before the shock, the Japanese government had said that it was preparing to expand the evacuation zone around the nuclear facility to address concerns over long-term exposure to radiation

April 8 More than 900,000 households remained without electricity after the strongest aftershock to hit since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan rocked a wide section of the country’s northeast. Two deaths were reported, as authorities warned of more aftershocks to come.

April 7 The police mounted a search for the 4,200 people listed as missing in the evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant as a powerful aftershock struck off the east coast, with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4. There were tsunami warnings, but no large waves were expected.

April 6 The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that some of the core of a stricken Japanese reactor had probably leaked from its steel pressure vessel into the bottom of the containment structure, implying that the damage was even worse than previously thought. The operator of the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant  was preparing to inject nitrogen into a reactor containment vessel there as it continued to try to bring the plant under control. The move was aimed at preventing the possibility of stored-up hydrogen from exploding at the plant’s No. 1 reactor.

April 5 United States government engineers sent to help with the crisis in Japan are warning that the troubled nuclear plant there is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely, and that in some cases are expected to increase as a result of the very measures being taken to keep the plant stable, according to a confidential assessment prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

When do we say enough is enough?

When do we admit it’s not a good idea to play with fire we cannot control?

When do we stop acting like an ostrich and take a look at what’s happening to the planet here?

This is a global level catastrophe that’s still happening, and we’re more interested in who got kicked off American Idol.

The media is playing it down, like it’s ‘just news’, not wanting to start a panic, of course.

But, when do we need to get ‘real worried’, and hasn’t that been, umm, some time ago?


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