Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japanese engineers strive to restore power to nuclear plant pump to avert catastrophe . Situation now "serious, but reasonably stable."

Worst case scenarios would involve millions of people in Japan threatened by exposure to radioactive material.

U.S. President Barack Obama said the Japan crisis posed no risk to any U.S. territory - and he nevertheless ordered a comprehensive review of domestic nuclear plants.

Latest images from the plant showed severe damage, with two of the buildings a twisted mangle of steel and concrete.

yen surged to a record high against the dollar on market speculation Japan would repatriate funds to pay for the massive cost of post-disaster reconstruction,

The government warned Tokyo's 13 million people to prepare for a possible large-scale blackout but later said there was no need for one. Still, many firms voluntarily reduced power, submerging parts of the usually neon-lit city in darkness.

At its worst, radiation in Tokyo has reached 0.809 microsieverts per hour this week, 10 times below what a person would receive if exposed to adental x-ray. On Thursday, radiation levels were barely above average.


Many Tokyo residents stayed indoors, however, usually busy streets were nearly deserted and many shops were closed.

hundreds of thousands remain homeless in shelters
About 30,000 households in the north were still without electricity in near-freezing weather,

government said at least 1.6 million households lacked running water

Japanese engineers strive to restore power to avert catastrophe | World | Reuters

"It hasn't got worse, which is positive," he said. "The situation remains very serious but there has been no significant worsening since yesterday."

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