Adding to the already chaotic situation caused by the largest quake experienced by Japan to date and the eruption of the Shinmoedake volcano in the southwestern region of the country, the Japanese now face the imminence of a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima No.1 of Tokyo Power Co. at Okuma in northern Japan, warned yesterday a senior government official.
It is believed that one of its uranium reactors has at least partially melted. Radioactive caesium, an element released when overheating damages the core of the nuclear reactor, was detected around the Fukushima Daiichi power station, northeast of Tokyo.
About 200 000 people have already been evacuated from the surroundings of the nuclear plant, while government officials disclosed plans to distribute iodine tablets to locals, which is a basic treatment for radiation poisoning.
Japan is the third largest user of nuclear power with 17 of them in operations.