Update Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Obama Speaks…Breaking News Libya and Bahrain

Friday fall-out: A graphic showing the path of the nuclear plume as predicted by the UN

This is a live blog thread to update our readers on the situation in Japan, Obama is set to give a statement shortly, and we will have a live blog on his press conference in the comment section below.  CNN is reporting that Obama will not take any questions during this statement…no surprise there right?  Anyway…Here are some links to live updates and latest news regarding the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan.

Kyodo News

Reuters

NHK World News

NHK Live News Stream

Recent articles of note:

Then we get this news from the UN Nuclear Agency:

I think these conflicting reports make the situation worse in the eyes of those in Japan.  The main thing to take away from all this is that those of us on the West Coast of the US are safe, in that the radiation in the plume  cloud will be greatly reduced by the time it gets to our shores…even in Hawaii. However, the real concern is in Japan. That is where the focus of worry should be. There are huge populations in and around the area of this nuclear power plant. These people are the ones whom we should concentrate our thoughts…prayers and hopes toward.  It is heartbreaking to see the desperation and emotional toll this is placing on the Japanese citizens and the local government officials that are directly affected by the Nuclear Crisis.

Obama made a “surprise” visit today to the Japanese Embassy in DC, to sign a condolence book. Why do I get the vision of his message looking like something out of a High School Yearbook…

To Japan: Best Wishes! Your BFF Barack Obama 🙂

Okay, that may be a bit harsh, and not to trivialize the situation of the disaster in Japan, but after all the partying and March Madness Picks…I really have a hard time comprehending any “real” message being sent from this president.

On a side note, I do not know if many of you watch the Little League World Series, but teams from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia  and Japan were actually in the semi and final rounds of this past years Series.  Just to put the news in perspective…and to give it some context in relation to a simple game of baseball, and the connection between our countries kids and the kids in these countries devastated by conflict and natural disasters.

News on Libya, Bahrain and MENA:

I want to also take some time to update you on Libya and Bahrain.

Video: Libya – Rebels Claim To Drive Back Pro-Gaddafi Forces Around Eastern Town Of Ajdabiyah | World News | Sky News

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has vowed to retake the main rebel stronghold of Benghazi and warned there would be no mercy for those who do not put down their weapons.

In a radio address, the Libyan leader told residents that unarmed people have nothing to fear from the army, but every home will be searched.

Col Gaddafi promised to pardon rebels in Benghazi who surrender, saying his forces would not pursue those who drop their weapons and flee.

But he said “for those who resist there will be no mercy or compassion”.

It comes as his forces reportedly carried out air strikes on the outskirts of the country’s second city, which is home to a million people.

Look here for other articles on the no-fly zone and journalist that are missing in Libya:

Bahrain police round up opposition leaders and take over hospital – Telegraph

Bahrain’s police rounded up opposition leaders at gunpoint and took over a major hospital as it continued a violent crackdown on a protest movement despite international calls for restraint.

Of course for recent updates on all situations:
AJE – Al Jazeera English

Look for more updates below in the comment section, feel free to post anything y’all find…


47 Comments on “Update Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Obama Speaks…Breaking News Libya and Bahrain”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    He is up talking now.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Obama: Wants to update American people on situation in Japan, what we are doing to help them in Japan.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      They have told Americans to evacuate in a 50 mile radius to the Fukushima plant.

      All US citizens should monitor situation and heed US warnings.

      Potential risk to US, not expect radiation of harmful levels in West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, and US territories in Pacific.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        He wants to keep the US informed just as he is informed about events unfolding in Japan.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        He is requesting review of all nuclear plants in US in response to the tragedy in Japan.

        Have distributed food and experts to aid Japan.

        American people have opened their hearts, and encourage people to go to USAID.gov to get info on how to help.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Japan is important to the US….Obama is confident Japan will recover and rebuild, he is praising the efforts of the Japanese people. He is also mentioning the Japanese culture that is encouraging the reactions of the Japanese people.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        In coming days support Japan…then at end he walked away from reporters shouting questions about Libya…

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    Did you see Obama at the end? Wow he got the hell out of dodge there!

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    Okay, I have to make my kids some food…they just got home…I hope this gives a good start to the conversation! I will check back soon.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    How is that a news conference? He didn’t take any questions.

  6. dakinikat says:

    CNN is reporting that there’s an exodus from Tokyo

  7. foxyladi14 says:

    50 miles seems more like it 🙂

  8. Peggy Sue says:

    That wasn’t a press conference; it was a speech. What to do in time of crisis? Give a speech and then quickly get off the stage.

    Read an interesting snippet on HRC and her declarative ‘nos’ to Blitzer’s series of questions. Reportedly, an unidentified confidant said Hillary has had it. She’s exhausted and highly frustrated with Obama’s inability to make a decision on . . . anything. On her trip overseas, she was pelleted with questions about DC’s failure to respond adequately to the Lybian disaster and the entire ME unrest. Her response: “there are difficulties.”

    Yes, and we all know where those difficulties are located! Regardless of where you stand on Lybia, this hodge-podge messaging from POTUS is a mess. Susan Rice has stated that if Quadaffi starts killing his populace [where has she been], the US will act, perhaps even with ground troops.

    Nothing like waiting until the war is nearly done to start thumping your tiny chest.

    I don’t know whether this is true or not but I also read from the same source that:

    ‘Last week, excommunicated members of Libya’s embassy to the United States set up shop in an office inside the State Department.’

    Don’t know whether that’s normal procedure but I found it interesting. I don’t blame Hillary for being fed up. It’s time for her to step away.

    • paper doll says:

      Reportedly, an unidentified confidant said Hillary has had it. She’s exhausted and highly frustrated with Obama’s inability to make a decision on . . . anything.

      And who can blame her… the only quick decision I’ve seen was Obama firing Hillary’s right hand guy and then sending his cop to watch her… That was licitly split. For a leader like Hill it must be murder to stand around while this guy thinks up basketball picks rather than even appearing to be doing his damn job or even letting her do it…that firing could have been the straw. I know he thinks talking a break from the parties to sigh a condolence book is a big deal….But it’s not Barry

  9. Peggy Sue says:

    As for the Japanese disaster, I know that if this was happening here and the government said: No danger, no danger. We suggest you stay in your house and seal yourself in.

    I would immediately panic.

    If I were in Tokyo right now? I’d want out.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    According to the Guardian, the UN is going to vote to support the Libyan opposition and there will be military action within hours of the vote.

    Britain, France and the US, along with several Arab countries, are to join forces to throw a protective ring around the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi as soon as a UN security council vote on military action is authorised, according to security council sources.

    A source at UN headquarters in New York said military forces could be deployed soon after a new security council resolution calling for states to protect civilians by halting attacks by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces by air, land and sea.

    The resolution would impose a no-fly zone over Libya – but a no-fly zone was no longer enough, the source said. “The resolution authorises air strikes against tank columns advancing on Benghazi or engaging naval ships bombarding Benghazi,” he said.

    Britain, France and Lebanon sponsored the new resolution, which provides the moral and legal basis for military action.

    British and French forces are understood to have been placed on standby after the US said it was prepared to support the measure if Arab countries agreed to take an active role.

    Maybe Hillary’s “no’s” finally got through to Barack “Hamlet” Obama.

  11. Joanelle says:

    Do you think he’s finally figured out that he’s way in over his head and about to drown?

  12. Joanelle says:

    He knew for sure that he’d be asked questions he couldn’t answer – that’s why he scrammed out of Dodge ASAP!

  13. janicen says:

    I stumbled across this. Has someone already posted it? I’m in the middle of a million things right now.

    Clinton is said to be especially peeved with the president’s waffling over how to encourage the kinds of Arab uprisings that have recently toppled regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, and in particular his refusal to back a no-fly zone over Libya.

    http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/03/17/031711-news-hillary-1-2/

  14. purplefinn says:

    From NPR (defunded by House) article on decontamination.

    …….Japanese authorities activated provisions of its Food Sanitation Act, which allows the government to test food for radioactive contamination and pull it from the market.

    Experts say it was the Soviet Union’s failure to do that, for many weeks after the 1986 Chernobyl power plant disaster, that caused most of the health consequences – which continue to this day.

    http://tiny.cc/xmxxb

  15. Boo Radly says:

    Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Thu, March 17, 2011 — 6:39 PM ET
    —–

    U.N. Security Council Approves No-Flight Zone in Libya

    The United Nations Security Council approved a measure on
    Thursday authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect
    Libyan civilians from harm at the hands of forces loyal to
    Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi.

    The measure allows not only a no-flight zone but effectively
    any measures short of a ground invasion to halt attacks that
    might result in civilian fatalities. It comes as Colonel
    Qaddafi warned residents of Benghazi, Libya, the rebel
    capital, that an attack was imminent and promised lenient
    treatment for those who offered no resistance.

    Read More:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/world/africa/18nations.html?emc=na

  16. gregoryp says:

    I have some questions that I don’t know where to get the information from.

    My primary question is whether or not the Chernobyl reactor exploded? My Atomic physics textbook says that no meltdown occurred.

    If it did explode then that is what I think will ultimately happen to reactor #3. The way my text reads is that Uranium 238 is the kind you find in nature and it is not fissionable. 235 is the fissionable kind suitable for producing energy but only exists in a tiny fraction of 238.

    Now they get around the limitations of 238 by adding neutrons and making it into Neptunium and then very quickly (like 2 days) it decays into Plutonium. Plutonium is highly unstable and basically bombards the Uranium 238 with neutrons. This is controlled using moderators which are basically water and deuterium which are able to absorb neutrons and slow the reactions down along with the control rods. My text uses Cadmium as the example.

    What worries me is that once the water is gone the control rods become saturated with neutrons and overheat resulting in failure. With the plutonium bombarding the uranium it sounds like a recipe for a runaway reaction. I believe that Chernobyl is the precedent on this and this plant will probably behave in a similar fashion.

    If that reactor does detonate then there would be no humanly way possible to get near the other plants. None of the reactors will hold and all of the spent fuel will eventually become exposed to nature. This could be the fate of all of the nuclear power plants in that area. Hopefully, detonation is not possible and all we get is a meltdown which is bad enough.

    And isn’t 50 miles the distance they say you need to be away from a nuclear missile when it explodes? I am frightened for the Japanese people beyond belief. Not saying that I think this is going to actually happen but it appears that this situation is much, much more dire than what is being reported.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m not sure all the information on Japan’s out there. You might try the UN Atomic site. Don’t they monitor and write reports on all those things?

    • bostonboomer says:

      Here is an article that explains exactly what happened at Chernobyl.

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/readings/chernobyl.html

      Keep in mind that radiation is still having a huge impact in that area, despite what governments say. I’ve heard it is leaking now too, because the containment they covered it with is degrading.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The article says that the explosion at Chernobyl was chemical–there isn’t enough plutonium in a power plant to cause a nuclear blast.

      • gregoryp says:

        Right, but plutonium is actually produced from uranium 238 and once the reactions become “runaway” then presumably a lot of plutonium will be produced. Regardless, I think a lot of radioactive materials are going to be liberated into the surrounding environment. Just hope they can minimize it.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I heard on CNN on tonights AC360 that the main concern is the reactors holding the spent rods. They are not protected by a container and since they are still “active” they can begin to start a nuclear chain reaction…which would be open to the environment.

  17. Linda C says:

    One of those reactors in Japan already has plutonium in it from dismantled nuclear war heads. As far as I know Chernobyl did explode. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/15/us-nuclear-chernobyl-facts-idUSTRE72E42U20110315

    • bostonboomer says:

      It did, but it wasn’t a nuclear explosion. See the link I posted just above your comment.

      There have already been three explosions in the reactors in Japan anyway.

  18. Minkoff Minx says:

    Here are some updates on Japan and Libya:

    The first readings from American equipment are in:

    Radiation Spread Seen – Frantic Repairs Go On – NYTimes.com

    The first readings from American data-collection flights over the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan show that the worst contamination has not spread beyond the 19-mile range of highest concern established by Japanese authorities.

    I thought the evacuation zone was only 12 miles?

    As for Libya, now that the UN has voted to intervene…Gaddafi is going soft….he wants a truce.
    After pounding rebel hub, Gaddafi calls for truce as UN action looms – The Times of India

    CAIRO: Libya’s army said it would halt operations from Sunday to allow rebels to lay down their arms, softening repeated threats by Muammar Gaddafi to crush them, as world powers edged towards adopting tough measures to shut down the strongman’s military machine.

  19. Minkoff Minx says:

    Has someone posted this yet? Day after saying no second term, a big win for Hillary Clinton – Glenn Thrush – POLITICO.com

    Drudge has a big “Hillary’s War” as the headline. I already see the spin moving any military action in Libya away from Obama.

    Clinton’s position was vindicated early Thursday evening when the United Nations Security Council – at the urging of the United States – approved a resolution authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians, including a no-fly zone. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters that such a move could involve direct attacks on pro-Qadhafi forces now bearing down on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya.

    Clinton’s persistence in the anti-Qadhafi cause has been such a constant in the White House in recent days that Obama, according to reports, joked about Clinton lobbing rocks through his window during his remarks at Saturday night’s Gridiron dinner.