Fukushima on brink of nuclear meltdown

Engineers are battling to prevent a catastrophic meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. Experts are currently pouring seawater into a reactor to cool it after its fuel rods […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Engineers are battling to prevent a catastrophic meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

Experts are currently pouring seawater into a reactor to cool it after its fuel rods became almost fully exposed.

Already two other reactors have exploded as their temperatures hit critical levels.

The nuclear disaster was caused by last week’s earthquake and resulting tsunami and this afternoon it was estimated that the final death toll from the natural disaster could top 10,000.

In financial terms, it could become the second costliest natural disaster ever, behind Hurricane Katrina.

Today in the UK, Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins said the explosions at the Japanese power plant “must lead to an urgent rethink of plans to build even more reactors around the world”.

“The urgent priority for the Japanese authorities is clearly to tackle the immediate crisis at the nuclear plant, followed by a full and open inquiry into the problems the station has faced,” he said.

“We can’t keep heading down the nuclear route until the lessons from this crisis have been learned.”

And he reiterated Friends of the Earth’s opposition to plans for new nuclear plants in Britain. “The reality is that the UK doesn’t need nuclear power – developing the UK’s huge green energy potential and slashing energy waste can provide the cleaner, safer future we need.”

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