With a third nuclear reactor at risk of a meltdown, concern in Japan now includes the spread of radiation--and the potential of poisoning. US warships that were brought in to help with search-and-rescue moved away from the coast after several crew were contaminated. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that around 185, 000 residents living around the Fukushima plant have been evacuated, and approximately 230,000 doses of iodine (which can help protect the thyroid glands) have been distributed to evacuation centers. According to the IAEA, Japanese safety officials informed the agency that the doses have not been administered but instead are "a precautionary measure."
The IAEA has launched a Facebook page with updates on the situation in Japan. The director general gave this update today:
STRATFOR Global Intelligence draws a comparison between Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan, to Chernobyl and writes, "There have been reports of “white smoke,” perhaps burning concrete, coming from the scene of the explosion, indicating a containment breach and the almost certain escape of significant amounts of radiation."
"I live in Fukushima City" wrote, "i'm watching the news online (no tv) to keep up with this reactor situation. in all honesty, i'm quite bored here. on edge, no doubt but so bored. the minutes couldn't tick by any slower."