A picture is worth a thousand words — never more true than with these disturbing images.
This satellite image, courtesy of DigitalGlobe, was captured Wednesday morning. It clearly shows devastating damage to containment buildings at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station. (Click on the image for a larger version.) The containment building for Unit 1 is at the extreme right. The first explosion to strike the complex occurred there.
Next in the line of buildings is Unit 2, where an explosion on Monday was thought to have caused damage to the reactor’s suppression pool. (Part of the cooling system, the pool is a large torus-shaped structure at the base of the reactor.) Steam or smoke is seen rising from a hole punched into the side of that building. Steam is also escaping from the very heavily damaged unit #3. Radioactivity from that plume forced evacuation of workers from the plant on Wednesday morning, local time. They have since returned to the plant. And last in the line is Unit 4, also heavily damaged. A second fire broke out there on Wednesday, but it is said to be controlled now. Authorities are particularly worried about the spent fuel pool at this unit. The water in the pool must be replenished to prevent a potentially massive release of radiation.
This is the first image I’ve seen from inside the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex. It shows nightmarish damage to units 3 and 4. The picture was released by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Source: AFP via The Australian)