Japan Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station meltdown

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power station in quake and tsunami devastated Miyagi prefecture suffered a meltdown of the reactor core, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) announced. In a last ditched effort to avoid a full meltdown, the Japanese government ordered that seawater flood the reactor core to avoid a full meltdown.

The Japanese Nuclear and Industrial safety agency revealed that at least 160 people may have been exposed to radiation. Japanese officials also revealed that while no major health risk is anticipated, they have informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that they are distributing iodine to people living near Daiichi, as well as a second plant. Iodine would help protect thyroid gland from radiation exposure.

Flooding the plant with seawater means it is effectively scrapped. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station is almost 40 years old. The exact sequence of failures have not been explained.

NISA is the Japanese agency that reports to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, a branch of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. NISA works with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and provides oversight to Japan’s Nuclear industry. NISA have been criticized for approving nuclear plants near fault lines, and it was also NISA who issued the order to open valves to release pressure from the plant.