Fukushima Disaster March 11th, 2011: An under water earthquake about 400 kilometers northeast from Tokyo with a magnitude of 9.0 on the richter scale hits Japan and destroys – before unleashing a tsunami – a vast amount of power lines. The nuclear power plant Fukushima Daichii goes offline, an automatic quick response system drives control rods between the nuclear fuel rods in all three active reactors, in order to prevent further fissioning. In order to keep the amount of cooling water in the reactors constant, a system of diesel generators goes online and provides the cooling pumps with power. These generators become however heavily damaged as a 14 meter high tsunami wave spills over the protective wall in front of the power plant and sweeps over the compound. Cooling systems go offline. Nuclear fuel rods, deprived of cooling water, are now half exposed. Evacuations of residents within a three kilometer radius of the plant begin. The radius is later enlarged to twenty kilometers as the situation worsens.March 12th, 2011: A huge amount of steam pressure is detected within reactor block 1, as the fuel rods cook up the remaing cooling water. In an attempt to prevent an explosion, authorities allow the power provider TEPCO to release controlled amounts of radioactive steam into the atmosphere. These efforts are however without avail: the first hydrogen explosion destroys the reactor building around reactor 1 about six hours later. Ocean water mixed with boric oxide is pumped into the reactor, in order to hinder further explosions. This very measure, along side of steam discharging, is also taken in reactor block 3, as steam pressure begins reaching dangerous levels.March 13th, 2011: Pressure continues to increase in reactor block 3.March 14th, 2011: A second hydrogen explosion destroys the building around reactor block 3, harming seven workers. Five of them are contaminated. In the meantime the cooling systems in reactor block 2 have gone offline, the nuclear fuel rods here are completely dry.March 15th, 2011: A third explosion rips through reactor block 2, as the pressure continues to increase. A hole is punched through the reactor core, allowing large amounts of nuclear waste to flow into the enviroment.
There's Terrible News From Japan Today Large amounts of radioactive isotopes were released into the water and atmosphere during the Fukushima disaster, the most common of them being iodine 131 and caesium-137. Iodine 131 has a halflife of 8 days, whereas caesium-137 needs 30 years, in order to decay to it’s half. Caesium-137 is especially dangerous due to it’s salt-like consistence and is easily ingested and distributed throughout the human body. It’s often found in soft tissues and has the highest concentration in muscle fibers. It emits beta and gamma rays while decaying and often causes cancer decades after coming into contact with an organism. Large amounts of caesium-137 were released from Fukushima not only into the air, but also into the ocean, contaminating various fish populations and spreading mutations throughout many marine food chains. This counter shows the estimated decay of the caesium-137 amounts released during the Fukushima disaster.