Worsening Japan crisis: MAPW resources and expert comment

TUESDAY 15 MARCH: As the nuclear crisis in Japan becomes even more serious, key background materials are now assembled on our nuclear accidents page (click yellow link on right); and MAPW experts continue to speak to the media (including tonight's Lateline; tomorrow's Today show, and Melbourne's Gold FM breakfast.

The International Atomic Energy Agency website now reports that there has been an explosion at the Unit 2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant; and that the spent fuel storage pond at the Unit 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is on fire and radioactivity is being released directly into the atmosphere.

The latter represents a further worsening of the situation, as the radioactive materials in spent fuel include particles which will be radioactive for a very long time, with potential long-lasting effects as, for example, these materials enter the food chain.

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