Nu­clear en­gi­neers evac­u­ated

Townsville Bulletin - - World Snapshot -

THE elite team of en­gi­neers who make up Ja­pan’s last line of de­fence against a nu­clear catas­tro­phe was yes­ter­day evac­u­ated from the shat­tered Fukushima plant be­cause of a dan­ger­ous surge in ra­di­a­tion.

Their last-ditch work to cool the re­ac­tors with sea­wa­ter was tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended as fresh white smoke belched from the crip­pled com­plex’s No. 3 re­ac­tor and an­other fire broke out in the No. 4 re­ac­tor.

The work­ers were or­dered to leave af­ter the level of ra­di­a­tion at the plant soared to 10 mil­lisiev­erts per hour – above the level con­sid­ered harm­ful to hu­man health – pos­si­bly as a re­sult of ra­dioac­tive sub­stances be­ing emit­ted from the No. 2 re­ac­tor.

The skele­ton crew of just 50 was al­lowed back in late yes­ter­day af­ter ra­di­a­tion lev­els dropped.

As the con­tain­ment work be­gan again, a 6.0-mag­ni­tude earth­quake struck in the ocean just off Ja­pan’s Chiba pre­fec­ture yes­ter­day.

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