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Pure Evil Breed

0805: Despite the two explosions at the Fukushima plant, the metal shells around the nuclear reactors seem to be holding, says the BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo. Even if the nuclear rods do overheat and a partial meltdown occurs, there's a much lower risk of radiation leaking into the atmosphere, he says.

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0810: Prof Paddy Regan, a nuclear physicist at Surrey University, says that the radiation levels currently being reported from the leaks at the Fukushima plant would have a similar impact to a chest x-ray, and that evacuations from the area, at this stage, are just precautionary.

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0812: Japan's Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations Noriyuki Shikata tweets: "After the blast of Unit 3, the cooling function of Unit 2 was stopped. Injection of sea water into Unit 2 is now being prepared. "

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0816: The BBC's Clive Myrie in the port city of Sendai says despite miraculous stories - such as those of a 60-year-old man who was rescued from the roof of his house after it had floated out through the city's harbour following the tsunami - the situation is now a recovery operation to clear roads and remove dead bodies from the rubble.

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0818: Hello Sandwich in Tokyotweets: "Bumping into other friends fleeing Tokyo at airport. Many flights cancelled as staff can't make it to airport. Mostly Japanese airlines. "

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0823: The political impact of Japan's crisis has been widespread. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has said safety measures at all Germany's 17 nuclear plants would be tested in the aftermath of events at the Fukushima plant. She faces a big election in two weeks time in the south of the country, where the greens have been making gains recently. Tens of thousands turned out at anti-nuclear demonstrations in Germany on Saturday.

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0826: Darren tweets: "volunteer kids give out water in #fukushima #japan. told me they had been there all morning. "

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0830: French Industry Minister Eric Besson describes the situation after the blasts at the Fukushima plant as worrying, saying the risk of a nuclear catastrophe cannot be ruled out.

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0833: Noriyuki Shikata, a spokesman for Japan's prime minister, says the latest blast at the Fukushima plant had been anticipated, telling the BBC World Service that the reactor core is "intact". Mr Shikata says 50,000 emergency workers are involved in the rescue operation, including the coast guard, police and the fire brigade. "The confirmed number of dead was in the order of less than 2000 as of this morning, but we we are expecting that the number will go up," he says.

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0835: James French in Yamagata writes: "I am currently in the ski resort of Zao Onsen. I was actually on a ski lift at the time of the quake. It was my first experience of an earthquake, and I was certainly trying to think how old the lifts must be, as the supporting structures shook violently. I was rescued after 30 minutes and had a pretty shaken up ski back to my lodge in terrible conditions. The aftershocks are becoming commonplace now."Have Your Say

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0838: Civil society across Japan has been pulling together for the relief effort in various ways. The Tokyo Illustrators' Society has been posting earthquake-themed illustrationson its website.

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0840: Ayaka Iijima writes: "I am a Japanese university student living in Tokyo. Today I went to some supermarkets near my house, only to see vacant shelves. People rushed every supermarkets to store their foods. There is no bottled water or instant foods. The clerk says that goods supply is interrupted because the road is crowded. Smaller quakes still happens all day long. People in Tokyo feel strong anxiety." Have Your Say

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0842: Japanese authorities say they have safely cooled down two nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daini plant, near the Fukushima Daiichi plant where efforts continue to cool three overheating reactors, local media reports.

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0844: The explosions at the Fukushima plant "are a matter of great concern, but seen against the totality of the disaster that Japan is facing, I think things are standing up extremely well", says Dr Philip Lloyd, a nuclear physicist at Cape Town's Enery Research Institute. It is good news that the pressure vessels in the reactor are still intact, he tells the BBC. "This is exactly the same as happened at Three Mile Island, when we had a meltdown there but radiation was contained," says Dr Lloyd. "It seems in this particular case the reactors withstood the seismic event extremely well."

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0848: Japan's nuclear safety agency has said there is "no possibility" of a Chernobyl-style disaster at the Fukushima number one plant, local media quotes national strategy minister Koichiro Genba as saying.

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0850: Academic Susan Burton, writing on her blog, says: "Mitaka station has some trains running but all the shops there are closed including the bakery and... Starbucks! So this is really a national emergency now. However Mr Donuts had all their donut varieties in stock. The video store was open. So was the bank and there was no queue for the cash machines. Some restaurants were closed, others open. The bike shop was open so I got my bike tyres pumped to the max for a quick getaway. (Prime Minister Kan was right, this IS just like the Second World War. The French are evacuating. Brits and Americans have been advised to stay put.) Back at home, the rubbish was collected and the postman delivered yet another academic journal.."

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0852: Justin Sullivan in Odawara writes: "Even in Odawara, in western Kanagawa prefecture south of Tokyo and a reasonable distance from the worst affected areas, there is a sense of quiet panic. Almost all petrol stations have sold out, and there are very long queues at the one or two that still have fuel. Nearly all shops were closed today, perhaps in expectation of scheduled power blackouts, although these did not eventuate. The few shops that are open are all but sold out of basic food and bottled water." Have Your Say

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0853: Elena in Yamanashi writes: "Rolling blackouts occurred all afternoon and continue into the evening in Yamanashi. School children in my area had to be sent home early, as the traffic lights had stopped working and there were safety concerns. Every once in a while, an aftershock reaches this area; despite not being badly affected, everyone is still on edge." Have Your Say

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0856: Japan's crisis is taking its toll on the country's sporting fixtures - the International Skating Union has just announced this month's world figure skating championships will no longer be held in Japan, Reuters reports.

3/14/2011 . Edited 3/14/2011 #61
Pure Evil Breed

0900: Thanks for following developments in Japan with the BBC. We'll be bringing you the latest news, reaction from the ground and analysis of events. Our colleagues over at the economics unit have been weighing up the financial impact of Friday's quake and subsequent tsunami, which saw the Nikkei index ending down nearly 7% amid record share trading on Monday.

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0905: Aftershocks are ongoing across Japan, spreading continuing panic, reports the BBC's Clive Myrie in the northern coastal city of Sendai. There has been a spike in demand for iodine in the city, as people try to counter the possible effects of radiation, adds our correspondent.

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0908: The BBC Today programme has been reporting from Sendai, and reporter Andrew Hosken and producer Ed Prendeville have sent across some pictures illustrating the devastation in the area.

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0915:For those concerned, the Japanese government says there's a low risk that the two blasts at the Fukushima plant caused an uncontrolled release of radiation, with officials saying levels around the site remain low - roughly equivalent to those experienced during an x-ray.

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0919:One of the biggest challenges for those involved in the relief effort is getting people and equipment to the affected areas, says the BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo. Many rescue workers are being shuttled into disaster areas by helicopter. The nuclear element is complicating the rescue effort, as is the sporadic power supply, adds our correspondent.

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0927: The LSE's Prof Janet Hunter says Japan, sitting on the Pacific's earthquake-prone ring of fire, is no stranger to widescale disaster, and is consequently in a good position to recover from the latest crisis. An organised local government network has strong contingency plans which will be put in place, she adds.

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0929: Japan Times reporter Kazuaki Nagata tweets: "TEPCO's PR person has just told me that they are very sorry but they won't make lists of blackout areas in English... TEPCO said they were considering to make it, but too many areas that are subject to change, and it's hard to keep update in two languages."

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0934: To get a picture of the level of aftershocks across Japan, have a look at the US Geological Survey's break-down of recent tremors.

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0938: The BBC's risk assessment team on the ground in Japan warns that at approximately 0400 local time on Tuesday, the wind is set to change direction, blowing any hazardous material inland.

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0941: BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin explains what has happened at the Fukushima plant: "The power plant is supposed to be earthquake-proof and shut down automatically in response to the quake," he says. "But this starved power from the stations' cooling systems. Then the back-up diesel cooling system also failed. Reactor number 1 overheated, and it is said that hydrogen released exploded, causing the concrete roof of the plant to blow off. Now that's been repeated at Number 3 reactor, Numbers 2 and 4 have problems with cooling."

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0943: "Some of the nuclear fuel may have partially melted down in the overheating," adds our correspondent. "But crucially the primary steel nuclear containment vessels are said to be intact. The authorities report no significant radiation leak, although some Japanese people may be disinclined to trust the authorities who have lied to them about previous nuclear accidents. It looks at the moment as though catastrophe may well be avoided, but the crisis is far from over."

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0945: Local media is reporting that water levels have fallen far enough to partly expose the fuel rods at Fukushima's Number 2 reactor - increasing the likelihood of overheating.

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0950: In the aftermath of Friday's quake and tsunami, Japan's central bank is pumping massive additional funds into the economy and buying more financial assets to help ensure that banks can meet customers' needs for funds and reduce the risk of a sudden increase in interest rates. The economic impact of the disaster will be extensive, says the BBC's economics correspondent Andrew Walker. There have been widespread shutdowns of industrial operations, and repairing the damage will be extremely costly.

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0954: Calculating the cost of such a disaster is difficult, says our economics correspondent, and no reliable estimates are yet available. Repairing the Fukushima plant will eventually be a boost for the construction industry and some of the cost will fall on the international insurance industry, he adds. But much will be borne by the Japanese themselves and by their government, which already has severely strained finances. In comparison, the Kobe earthquake in 1995 is reckoned to have done $100bn or more of damage.

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0957: India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced a safety check of all of the country's nuclear power plants in the aftermath of the Japanese crisis, AFP reports.

3/14/2011 . Edited 3/14/2011 #62
Pure Evil Breed

1002: AFP adds that Austria's Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich has called for speedy checks on Europe's nuclear power plants to see if they can withstand earthquakes and to verify if the plants' cooling systems would continue to function in the event of a disaster.

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1006: Shin Katayamain Koganei writes: "I am living in Koganei which is about 15 miles west of Tokyo and didn't suffer any structural damage to my house, but after the news about power outages people have swarmed the local stores and the shelves are out of stock on water, toilet paper, flashlights, batteries, radios, rice, and instant food. I unfortunately couldn't buy any batteries, and since my region has plans for outages during the night, it seems I'm left in the dark during that period. People arent yet panicking, but the worries are making people overload their stock, resulting in temporary supply shortages. My only hope is that the overloading in the Kanto will not result in shortages in the most needed, Tohoku areas."Have Your Say

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1013: The Japanese Red Cross is co-ordinating dozens of teams across the affected are in north-eastern Japan. Spokeswoman Sayaka Matsumoto says the organisation is still trying to get a complete picture of the disaster. It is prioritising medical assistance to local hospitals and has set up tent clinics at the evacuation centres, she tells the BBC World Service's World Update programme. She says some patients are being treated for the effects of near-drowning, as well as from hypothermia, while others are being treated having swallowed contaminated water.

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1018: More on the economic impact of the crisis: Some of Japan's biggest companies, including the car-maker Toyota, have shut down operations, and the government has introduced a programme of rolling power cuts to ration electricity.

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1025: For those looking for more information on the crisis, wondering how to find missing people, or interested in donating to support the relief effort Asian Correspondent's Tonyo Cruz has pulled togetherthis list of useful links and URLs.

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1028: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says there is no threat of a global nuclear disaster following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Reuters reports.

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1035: Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snowtweets:"Biggest mobilisation of Japanese forces since second world war: 100,000 on the move. Rescue operation awesome: no Japanese self pity either."

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1038:UK Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to brief MPs about the crisis in Japan at 1530 GMT.

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1044: For more information on aftershocks in Japan, here's the latest statement from the country's Meteorological Agency.

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1048: Although the Bank of Japan is pumping a record $182bn of emergency funds into the country's financial system to try to provide stability, Seijiro Takeshita, director of Mizuho Financial Group, says this will not be enough. "There will have to be more to come, unfortunately," he tells the BBC World Service. Mr Takeshita expects a contraction of the Japanese economy for at least two quarters. "After that I think we will be able to show a very good resilience, a comeback, considering that we are pretty much prepared for these kind of catastrophic conditions after earthquakes," he says.

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1052: Despite the Japanese government assurances of low levels of radiation leakage, the New York Times has this sobering piece on the likelihood of long-term radioactive releases from Fukushima's stricken nuclear units which, it says, could go on for months.

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1055: Chris Hutchinson in Ogikubo, Tokyo, writes: "Hopefully things will get back to normal soon, but the power outages are going to be a problem. My feeling is that TEPCO have really screwed it up - my area is in 'Group 1' which will have outages twice a day and we have both of the most inconvenient times (6am-10am and 5pm-8.30pm) which is when I would be taking showers, cooking or trying to relax. Other areas have it much easier - especially those in group 4 (which, perhaps no surprise, contains many very wealthy areas!) who only have a 2.5hr window during office hours in the early afternoon. The British Embassy has been great so far and provided a lot of information when requested, I would definitely advise any British people to register at if they haven't already done so. The Japanese authorities have been pretty much useless and unwilling (or unable?) to provide any details regarding specific questions about the earthquake and nuclear situations. I am not planning to leave Japan, but I am ready to do so if instructed to - I have essential things packed and ready to go in the event of the situation deteriorating." Have Your Say

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1058: Anna Ikeda in Tochigi, writing on her blog, says: "And like someone said it on Twitter, here is one headline that you'd never see: "Millions of lives saved by good Japanese engineering and strict government building codes." That's true, the real damage came from the tsunami. The devastation you saw on TV was caused not by the quake, but by surging water. The quake itself, while super strong, didn't cause that much damage. So from now on, I promise not to complain about Japanese buildings. They are bloody cold in winter and hellishly hot in summer, but they can withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake."

3/14/2011 #63
Pure Evil Breed

1100: Thanks for following the latest developments in Japan with the BBC. If you've just joined us, here's a quick update: Following Friday's devastating magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami, there has been a second explosion at the earthquake-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. The blast at the Number 3 reactor sent a huge column of smoke into the air. Eleven people were injured, one of them seriously. Officials say two other reactors have developed problems with their cooling systems, but add there's been no significant radiation leak at the plant.

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1104: Amid the global fallout of Japan's nuclear crisis, Switzerland has suspended plans to replace its ageing nuclear power plants, stressing that safety is its top priority, AFP reports.

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1106: The BBC's Shelagh Fogartytweets: "Stopped off at a Tokyo watering hole. It's practically empty but determined to find people to talk to."

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1108: Regis de Lavison in Fukushima writes: "Despite the magnitude of Friday's earthquake it is difficult to find signs in Fukushima city of how viscously the ground moved. Most damage seems to be limited to free standing walls bordering properties that were not reinforced. Presently, the lack of gasoline, food, continuous aftershocks, and the prospect of a meltdown at the nuclear reactor followed by radioactive fallout reminds everyone of the serious situation we are in... I count my blessings that my home is still standing and that my family is safe and sound."Have Your Say

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1111: Japan's Association of Translators is assembling a list of volunteer interpretersto help in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami disaster.

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1113: Thanks for all your texts, emails, tweets and photos of the situation in Japan. Do keep sending us your views and reaction - we'll publish what we can here.Have Your Say

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1117: Trying to make an assessment of the economic and financial costs of a disaster such as the Japanese earthquake and tsunami always seems tawdry, says BBC Business Editor Robert Peston. But failure to do so is also to succumb to mawkishness or despair. Life goes on, markets continue to trade, investors put a price on the damage done. .So here's his assessment.

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1121: For a break-down of the situation at Fukushima, and the impact of the lowering water levels inside the plant's Number 2 reactor, have a look at this piece by our environment correspondent Richard Black.

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1125:Worrying news, this: The operators of the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant say it's possible that cooling water at one of the reactors has evaporated, Reuters reports. The company says it can't rule out the possibility that the nuclear fuel rods in Number 2 reactor were now exposed and could be at risk of meltdown.

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1131:Amid heightened fears about the possibility of a nuclear melt-down at Fukushima, the grim relief effort continues apace. About 2,000 bodies have been found washed ashore on beaches in the Miyagi region in north-east Japan. A thousand were found on the Ojika peninsula and another 1,000 in the town of Minamisanriku, which was flattened by the tsunami. Tens of thousands are still unaccounted for. Many remote towns and villages remain cut off and have had no help since Friday's earthquake.

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1134:More than 500,000 people have been displaced by the quake, tsunami and nuclear emergency, Japan's Kyodo news agency reports, while millions have spent three nights without water, food or heat in near-freezing winter weather.

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1138:The New York Daily News is reporting that radioactive contamination has been found in 17 US Navy crewmembers off Japan.

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1143: If you're following the latest Japanese language news bulletins, the Japan Newbie website has helpfully put together this list of earthquake-related Japanese vocabulary with translations.

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3/14/2011 #64
Lord Kelvin

Russian media, which has, so far, been the most accurate in portraying the events explains two reactors were stabilised and the situation is not expected to get worse there.

Russia sends nuclear physicists to the site among other aid.

3/14/2011 #65
Sextuple Covalent Mo2 Bond

2006: Lee Chapman tweets: "That was a big quake. I thought these aftershocks were supposed to be getting smaller..."

2007: Steve Nagata in Tokyo tweets: "The quake just now felt more like a sudden jerk. Was that because the epicenter was in Tokyo bay? Very unsettling. Closest quake so far"

2016: The US Geological Survey says that was a 5.2-magnitude earthquake, whose epicentre was 386km (239 miles) north-north-east of Tokyo.

2022: A Russian diplomatic source has told the Interfax news agency that Moscow is "awaiting trustworthy information regarding the situation at Japanese nuclear power plants" from the authorities in Tokyo. The source said Russian officials had not ruled out that the Japanese were playing down the possible threat for fear of causing panic among members of the public. Moscow planned to send seismologists to Japan to assess the situation on the ground so it could be "a thousand times more sure tht everything is safe", the source added.

2035: The BBC's Piers Scholfieldtweets: "In hotel in Yamagata overnight. Messages popping up on facebook detailing rolling blackouts to take place overnight."

2039: Regis de Lavison, who lives in Fukushima city - about 60km from the nuclear power plant - tells the BBC: "It's been nerve-wracking having the multiple tremors since the earthquake. We've been following the situation with the nuclear reactors - of course, that is a big concern. But at the same time, we see images of the tsunami and of the coastal towns being wiped out, so in a way we are very lucky. There is very little damage, just a few power outages, no running water, very little petrol, rationed food, but all that seems not that important."

2041: He adds: "Some radiation has leaked from the reactors, but it is down-wind. It is not next door. I don't think people really consider that too much of a threat. If there is a major disaster, and a lot of radiation is spewed out into the atmosphere, it would be a major concern."

2046: The New Scientist's Short Sharp Science blog has been asking nuclear scientists about the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It says: "The real fear is that harmful radioactive material will escape from the reactor core."

2050: The BBC's Nick Ravenscroft, who is in the city of Sendai, says: "Crushed together, piled into improbable stacks or sprinkled across the landscape, stuck in fields or poking out of ditches - thousands of cars still lie where the surge of water left them. Each has to be checked by the rescuers in case there is a body inside. There have been reports that in some areas the teams have been running out of bags to put corpses in. On Monday, there were more aftershocks, as there have been every few hours since the earthquake, but also fears of another tsunami."

2052: Our correspondent adds: "Away from the part of Sendai that was inundated by the tsunami, the queues outside shops remain and the shelves inside are still largely empty. It is difficult for lorries to get through with the deliveries given the disruption to the transport network. There was a brief semblance of normality in the morning rush hour - buses full of people wearing suits and ties, but the doors at most premises are shut. The streets are calm, but this is not normal life."

2059: Japan's Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, has said the authorities are doing their utmost to contain the problems at the country's nuclear power plants, according to the Kyodo news agency.

3/14/2011 . Edited 3/14/2011 #66
Sextuple Covalent Mo2 Bond

2106: More from Prime Minister Kan: He says he will personally lead operations at the joint response headquarters, which will be based at Tepco's main office in Tokyo. The company earlier said fuel rods at Fukushima Daiichi's reactor 2 were once again fully exposed, just hours after it managed to stabilise a similar emergency.

2112: Shinpuren from Tokyo tweets: "Trains are running today but few, so getting in early, its already crowded."

2114: Steve Nagata in Tokyo tweets: "After a early morning aftershock wakeup call, Tokyo waking up to an uncertain day with blackouts, delays, and a potential nuclear disaster"

2121: Prime Minister Kan has said the deputy heads of the joint response headquarters dealing with the nuclear crisis will be the minister of economy, trade and industry, and the president of Tepco. He added: ''A worrisome situation remains but I hope to take the lead in overcoming this crisis. I will take all measures so that damage will not expand.''

2124: Work resumed early on Tuesday morning to pump sea water into reactor 2 at Fukushima Daiichi to prevent its fuel rods inside from overheating. As of 0300 local time on Tuesday, pressure inside the reactor container had dropped and it was believed seawater had been pumped in succesfully, Tepco said, according to the Kyodo news agency. However, Tepco admitted that it had not yet been able to confirm that water levels inside the reactor had risen. The fuel rods were fully exposed at 2300 local time on Monday.

2126: Engineers were having difficulty injecting seawater into the reactor because its vents - necessary to release pressure in the containment vessel by allowing radioactive steam to escape - had stopped working properly, the New York Times reports. However, by Tuesday morning they had succeeded in opening a malfunctioning valve, reducing pressure in the container vessel. They then resumed flooding the reactor with water.

2129: Tepco said water levels inside the containment vessel were not immediately rising to the desired level, possibly because of a leak. Nevertheless, an official told a news conference: "We do not feel that a critical event is imminent."

2133: The UN has put together a useful list of must-follow Twitter users on the earthquake in Japan

[[[LINK to Must-Follow Twitter Users list, by UN:

2142: A Twitter campaign has been set up to persuade Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yukio Edano, to go to bed. Mr Edano has been dutifully covering the nuclear crisis at all hours of the day and night, but many TV viewers feel the strain is beginning to tell. The hashtag #edano_nero - which mean "Edano, go to bed" - has been trending on Twitter.

2145: In fact, just after posting the below entry, the Kyodo news agency reported that Mr Edano had told reporters that although engineers had been able to pump sea water into reactor 2 at Fukushima Daiichi, it remained unstable.

2146: Katie Hinman of ABC Newstweets: "Driving through the wreckage of Sendai, and saw the saddest sight: a bewildered horse standing alone among it all."

2153: Lt Anthony Falvo of the US Navy tells the BBC that concerns about radiation from Japan's stricken nuclear power plants will not curtail the efforts of the 15,000 American sailors sent to the region to assist the rescue effort. "What we're trying to do is make it safe for our ships to move in a little bit closer, so that we can eventually assist the government of Japan in doing what they need to do," he says. "As part of that, what we're hoping is that the USS Ronald Reagan will serve as an afloat platform for re-fuelling helicopters from the Japan Defence Force, the Japanese coastguard, fire and police, and other civilian authorities involved in the rescue and recovery efforts ashore. We are absolutely committed to this mission and we look to see it through to the end."

2154: Sociologist Julian Dierkestweets: "94 non-Japanese rescue and relief teams have arrived in Japan. The gov't has been gracious in accepting these expressions of sympathy."

3/14/2011 . Edited 3/14/2011 #67
Sextuple Covalent Mo2 Bond

2207: Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yukio Edano, has said a partial defect has been found inside the containment vessel of reactor 3 at the Fukushima Daaich nuclear power plant, the Kyodo news agency reports. He has also said the reactor is "not necessarily in a stable condition". Early on Tuesday morning, officials said pressure inside the container had dropped and sea water was being pumped in to cool the fuel rods.

2208: However, there has been no sharp rise in radiation levels at reactor 2, Mr Edano adds.

2212: The US Geological Survey has announced it has "updated the magnitude of the 11 March 2011, Tohoku earthquake in northern Honshu, Japan, to 9.0 from the previous estimate of 8.9. Independently, Japanese seismologists have also updated their estimate of the earthquake's magnitude to 9.0."

2215: France is proposing that economy and energy ministers from the Group of 20 economic powers meet next month to discuss the impact of the Japanese disaster on the world economy, Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini has said.

2217: The BBC's George Alagiah in Sendai says: "Right through the night, we have had aftershocks. You can feel the ground rumble beneath you."

2221: The BBC's Roland Buerk says: "In the towns near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, people have been scanned for contamination. Officials say a few have shown slightly raised levels of radiation, but nowhere near dangerous levels. Japan relies on nuclear power stations for nearly a third of its electricity. But trust in the technology, and power company officials, is being shaken. 'I don't know whether we can believe them. Not only their comments, but also the Japanese government and those of the prefectures,' one man told me. After being checked, people are being offered places at evacuation centres around Fukushima. But for some that is not far enough. They are leaving for other parts of Japan."

2226: David, in Tokyo, writes: "I have lived in Japan for 20 years, and last night sent my family to the west of Japan 700km from Tokyo to stay with relatives. Like Japanese people I don't believe what we are being told by Tepco or the government. We have just been told of a 'deficit' in the reactor 2 by the government in a 0630 announcement. Governments only make announcements at that time if the problem is serious." Have Your Say

2232: Meanwhile, Ecuador's government has sent food and water to the Galapagos Islands after they were affected by the tsunami generated by the earthquake off Japan. Water from the tsunami penetrated up to 0.5km (0.3 miles) inland, causing minor damage to homes and docks, merging a lagoon with the Pacific Ocean and destroying some endangered tortoise nests, the Associated Press reports.

2239: Sociologist Julian Dierkestweets: "NHK showing graphics analyzing aftershocks. Number of aftershocks to #JPQuake not yet flattening out"

2245: Daisuke Wakabayashi of the Wall Street Journal tweets from Sendai city: "Supermarket. The store probably won't open for a few more hours but people are out early in the desperate search for food and liquids. The line for gasoline is even longer, stretching several some hundred cars deep over four or five blocks. It looks like some of these cars have been here since last night. The stand isn't even open yet. Toko waited a total of 16 hours to get about 5 gallons worth. I am so grateful that we have a cab. The taxis run on natural gas, which taxi companies procure for their own cars and is in more ample supply."

2253: The tweet by Katie Hinman of ABC News about the lonely horse in Sendai (See 2146) prompted Breda Gahan in Dublin to email in: "Can't believe I read this. Please return horse to Natsuko Komura." The BBC's Damian Grammaticas interviewed Ms Komura on Sunday as she searched for her trusty steed near Sendai's beach. She had been riding it when the tsunami approached on Friday, but had not seen it since. "Deepest sympathy to all the Japanese people affected by this terrible tragedy. I am speechless when I see the images," Ms Brehan adds.

3/14/2011 . Edited 3/14/2011 #68
Sextuple Covalent Mo2 Bond

2308: An explosion is heard at Fukushima's second reactor, the Kyodo news agency reports.

2311: The news agency said the blast was heard at 0610 local time on Tuesday (2110 GMT Monday). No other details were immediately announced.

2316: Kyodo now says that the suppression pool may have been damaged at the second reactor.

2320: A spokesperson from Tokyo Electric says said some staff have been evacuated from the site.

2333: More details on the reported blast at Fukushima's reactor 2. The explosion is feared to have damaged the reactor's pressure-suppression system, Kyodo says. It adds that "radiation tops legal limit" after the explosion.

2340: Tokyo Electric officials are now holding a news briefing. They say the blast at reactor 2 happened "near the pressure vessel". They also confirm that some staff at the nuclear power plant are being evacuated.

2344: Tokyo Electric says that 50 employees are still staying at the Fukushima plant

2354: Just to recap: it was a third explosion in four days at the Fukushima, amid fears of a meltdown.

2357: BBC 5 Live's Hasit Shah in Tokyo tweets: "Polite, discreet notices in lots of places asking people to save power."

3/14/2011 . Edited 3/14/2011 #69
Sextuple Covalent Mo2 Bond

Welcome to day five of the BBC live coverage of the disaster in Japan~

0005: Radioactive materials are feared to be leaking at Fukushima, Kyodo reports quoting a safety agency.

0008: martyn_williams tweets: "Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company) erred by starting with apology - making it seem big increase in seriousness - then unable to follow with simple explanation."

0013: An article in the Japan Times says: "The radioactive fuel rods at the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 power station were fully exposed at one point Monday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said, raising the possibility that it suffered a partial core meltdown."

0019: The Tokyo Stock Exchange falls more than 4% shortly after opening, the AFP reports.

0023: A further UK search and rescue team of 12 has now arrived in Japan.

0052: Details are now emberging about radiation levels after the blast at Fukushima's reactor 2 at 0610 local time (2110 GMT Monday). Tokyo Electric officials say that one hour of exposure at the nuclear plant would be equivalent to eight times at what a person might experience naturally during the year.

0055: Jonathan Watts, Asia environment correspondent for The Guardian tweets: "Looking for latest info on radiation levels and wind direction before deciding whether to go reporting today. #tsunami #meltdown"

0056: The official death toll from the earthquake and tsunami has topped 2,400, the AFP news agency is quoting police as saying.

3/14/2011 . Edited 3/14/2011 #70
Dakyloquacious

0101: The Bank of Japan offers to pump 5tn yen ($61bn) into the financial system to try to soothe money markets shaken by the earthquake and tsunami.

0012: Radiation is feared to have leaked after the container vessel was damaged at Fukushima's reactor 2, the Kyodo news agency is quoting Tokyo Electric Power Company as saying.

0119: Mark Kemp is working as an English teacher in Fukushima province. He lives about 75 miles (121km) from the nuclear plant. He tells the BBC that the news about the latest explosion is very worrying: "The more that goes wrong at the plant, the less 120 kilometres really feels. When I was around town yesterday, everyone I saw seemed tense. They seemed to trying to be getting on with their lives. But there was a definite tension in the air. You could definitely feel it." Have Your Say

0128: An article in the Japan Times newspaper says: "So far, the response to Friday's earthquake and tsunami has been better than the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji earthquake thanks to better official communications between Tokyo bureaucrats and politicians and local governments, and also the existence of the Internet and social media."

0139: martyn_williams tweets: "Japan waiting for (PM) Kan. NHK said it would be "message to nation", rather than news conference".

0145: The official death toll from the earthquake and tsunami rises to 2,414, Japanese police say. But officials fear that at least 10,000 may have died.

0011: Japanese PM Naoto Kan is expected to hold a news briefing at 0200 (see 0139 entry).

0159: Ben Slaney, from Asaka City, Saitama, Japan, writes: "Most of the shops are closed and quite a few Japanese people have left Tokyo to stay with relatives further west. Right now it's very difficult to understand who to trust. While the government wants to minimise panic, the foreign media wants to exaggerate the importance of the latest developments to create a more compelling story. This is leaving many foreign nationals in Japan confused as to who to believe." Have Your Say

0207: Addressing the nation, Prime Minister Naoto Kan says that "there is a high risk of futher radioactive material coming out".

0210: The premier also urges people within 19 miles (30km) of the Fukushima complex in the area "to remain indoors".

0241: And Mr Kan also confirms earlier reports that a fire has broken out at Fukushima's reactor 4.

0256: Apologies for the delay with updating - this was due to technical problems.

0303: Radiation is 400 times the annual legal limit near Fukushima's reactor 3, the Kyodo news agency reports

0306: Winds over the stricken nuclear plant are blowing slowly towards the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, Reuters reports.

0309: Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says: "Now we are talking about levels that can impact human health. I would like all of you to embrace this information calmly. These are readings taken near the area where we believe that the release of radioactive substances is occurring. The further away you get from the power plant or reactor the value should go down"

0314: tokyoreporter tweets: "Just passed Eneos gas station in Yamagata where line went for over 1 km, station attendant bring out portable battery charger for cars."

0321: The BBC News website is now running a piece on how the unfolding disaster at Fukushima could impact on the future of America's so-called "nuclear renaissance".

0324: Helen Creak, who works for the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme in Yamagata prefecture, tells the BBC: "It is difficult to make rational decisions when we aren't getting honest and accurate information from the Japanese officials or news stations."

0331: A fire which broke out Tuesday at Fukushima has now been extinguished, media reports say.

0333: Leke Ojumu, from Hakodate, Japan, writes: "Even though Hokkaido is around 400km away from Fukushima, the current situation with the nuclear power plants is a worry. Nevertheless, some of the foreign community around Hakodate are doing what we can to get together relief supplies for Fukushima/Miyagi. We weren't too badly affected up here so we've got to do what we can to help." Have Your Say

0337: A low level radioactive wind could reach Tokyo in 10 hours, Reuters is quoting the French embassy in the Japanese capital as saying.

0348: Air China, the country's flag carrier, has cancelled flights from Beijing and Shanghai to Tokyo on Tuesday afternoon and in the evening. 3/14/2011 . Edited 3/14/2011 #71
Yggdra

0355: The BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo says that Japan's nuclear safety agency says it suspects the explosion may have damaged the vessel that holds the number two reactor. That would make it a more serious incident than the two previous explosions at Fukushima that were thought just to have damaged the buildings that housed the reactors.

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0359: Edward O'Brien, from Yotsukaido, Chiba-ken, Japan, writes: "Most of the people fleeing or complaining about information being withheld seem to be foreign residents. Very few Japanese people I know in Chiba and Tokyo are even thinking of evacuating." Have Your Say

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0402: Higher than normal radiation levels are detected in Tokyo, the AFP is quoting the city government as saying.

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0408: However, a Tokyo government officials says the radiation levels in the city are not seen as harmful to human health, the AFP adds.

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0416: The European Commission is convening a meeting of energy ministers and nuclear experts in Brussels to assess nuclear safety issues in the wake of events in Japan.

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0419: Thailand is to start doing random tests of imported Japanese food products for possible radiation contamination, the country's food and drug agency is quoted as saying by Reuters.

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0422: martyn_williams tweets: "Japan's biggest potential problem now, outside of plant vicinity, is not radiation but mass panic."

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0427: Jeffrey Lilly, from Kawanehon, Japan, writes: "We're about 300 miles in a straight line from the Fukushima nuclear plants. My junior high school operates as normal, and kids at the elementary school next door play outside as I write this. No mention of the nuclear crisis whatsoever from any town officials. If not for the news I'd never know there was a problem. " Have Your Say 3/14/2011 . Edited 3/14/2011 #72
Pure Evil Breed

1012: The UN's weather agency says Japanese winds are dispersing radioactive material over the ocean, and there is no danger for Japan or the region for now, Reuters reports.

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1022: Francis Markus, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, says emergency workers in north-eastern Japan are still "very much focused on search and rescue and relief, with Japanese Red Cross medical teams dealing with hundreds of thousands of people in evacuation centres and these people people being provided with relief supplies of food, drinking water, blankets and other essentials".

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1025: Germany is moving to shut down its oldest nuclear reactors as Chancellor Angela Merkel convenes crisis talks on the future of atomic energy in light of events in Japan, Reuters said.

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1033: Some readers have been emailing the BBC about an "urgent" news flash purportedly from the BBC advising people in "Asian countries" to take certain steps in light of the radiation leak at the Fukushima plant in Japan, particularly if it is raining. Please be advised this is fraudulent and this advice has NOT been issued by the BBC.

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1038: The radiation dosages of up to 400 millisieverts per hour recorded at the Fukushima plant "are levels that you have to take very seriously indeed to ensure you avoid immediate health effects", Professor Richard Wakeford from the Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Manchester tells the BBC World Service. He says Japanese authorities will be imposing a ban on food and drink from the area and issuing iodine tablets to block the intake of radioactive iodine from the thyroid.

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1041: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered Russia's nuclear agency to carry out a review of the future of the atomic energy sector in the country in the wake of the Japanese earthquake, AFP news agency reports.

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1049: Jack Edney in Chiyodaku, Tokyo writes: "Almost all of my friends here in the capital have left Tokyo with their families. They are scared about radiation reaching Tokyo and also many of their parents' companies are taking them either down south, or out of Japan altogether. School has been cancelled and it is all really slow here. I really do hope that I won't have to leave as well."Have Your Say

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1057: Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle says that what we are witnessing in Japan is an "apocalypse". He says the international community must do everything it can to help Japan and adds it may shift Europe's approach to nuclear power: "After what happened in Japan it cannot be business as usual. This has consequences not only for Germany's energy policy but it will also have consequences for the international community's stance as well as the debate in Europe, and that's how we will now approach it."

3/15/2011 #73
Pure Evil Breed

1101: Check out these images of the clean-up operation, posted by the US Pacific Fleet on its Flickr stream. It includes pictures from Misawa and the Philippine Sea.

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/compacflt/with/5528871906/)

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1107: Prime Minister Naoto Kan has strongly criticised the Tokyo Electric Power Company for its handling of the Fukushima No 1 nuclear plant, according to Japan's Kyodo news. "The TV reported an explosion. But nothing was said to the premier's office for about an hour," a Kyodo News reporter overheard Mr Kan saying during a meeting with company executives. "What the hell is going on?"

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1112: Dan Castellano tweets: "A few channels returning to local programming in #Tokyo, other stations have avoided commercials and broadcast public service spots instead."

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1114: The Fukushima International Association apparently offers a free English Information Service for Non-Japanese residents of Fukushima. They have set up a page with information for people inthe area with guidance on such things as where the evacuation centres are, the plan for screening and so on.

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1132: Commentators are speculating about which countries are going to halt their nuclear power plans. Read more comment from across the web in the BBC's round-up.

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1140: We've just published a story about the fake text message circulating warning people that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant has leaked beyond Japan.

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1148: Reuters is reporting that the US military says it has moved warships closer to the Japanese coast to aid with relief and rescue efforts

3/15/2011 #74
Pure Evil Breed

1203: The International Atomic Energy Agency says Japan has monitored 150 people for radiation levels and carried out decontamination measures on 23, Reuters reports.

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1208: shim_decadetweets: "I live in Fukushima. We need the truth. The information has been totally controlled "

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1210: Writing in Germany's Der Spiegel, Roland Nelles says that nuclear power in Germany is finished.

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1214: Mayu Iwakami, a resident of a suburb of Sendai, tells the BBC World Service that her and her family and neighbours are "try[ing] not to be in a state of hysteria until we actually get the information regarding radiation and a possible evacuation. Until then, we try to keep calm and carry on."

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1221: Wondering what the world's press is writing about what this crisis means for the future of nuclear power? You'll find a round-up here.

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1226: German flag-carrier Lufthansa says it is diverting all Tokyo-bound flights to other Japanese cities until at least Sunday, Agence France Press reports.

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1228: France's nuclear safety authority says it classifies the Fukushima plant accident as level six. The maximum is level seven, used only once for the 1986 Chernobyl accident, Reuters reports.

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1233: The British government's chief scientist John Beddington says Japan's reaction to the nuclear crisis is entirely proportionate. He says the situation in Japan is "totally different" to Chernobyl.

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1236: Matthew, in Tokyo, writes: "I'm visiting a friend in Saitama (just outside Tokyo) tonight and learned that TEPCO had scheduled a blackout for this area between 6-10PM. It is now almost 9PM and the power has yet to go off, despite the local emergency announcement system having issued an alert."Have Your Say

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1240:James Simpson in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa,tweets: "Food situation just kinda hit home today - reducing portion sizes to increase longevity."

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1246:We've just published a feature that gives a sense of the impact that the rolling blackouts are having on such a high-tech and nuclear power-dependent country.

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1250: After a few hours of trading, European stocks have plunged sharply over fears Japan's earthquake may undermine supply chains for global manufacturers.

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1255: The US Federal Aviation Administration says it is prepared to re-route flights to Japan if the nuclear crisis there worsens, Reuters reports.

3/15/2011 #75
Lord Kelvin

12.55pm: The Kyodo news agency has a very useful update on the status, as of Tuesday evening in Japan, of each of the six reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and the four reactors at the Fukushima No. 2 plant:

Fukushima No. 1

Reactor No. 1 - Cooling failure, partial melting of core, vapor vented, hydrogen explosion, seawater pumped in.

Reactor No. 2 - Cooling failure, seawater pumped in, fuel rods fully exposed temporarily, damage to containment system, potential meltdown feared.

Reactor No. 3 - Cooling failure, partial melting of core feared, vapor vented, seawater pumped in, hydrogen explosion, high-level radiation measured nearby.

Reactor No. 4 - Under maintenance when quake struck, fire caused possibly by hydrogen explosion at pool holding spent fuel rods, pool water levels feared receding.

Reactor No. 5 - Under maintenance when quake struck.

Reactor No. 6 - Under maintenance when quake struck.

Fukushima No. 2

Reactor No. 1 - Cooling failure, then cold shutdown.

Reactor No. 2 - Cooling failure, then cold shutdown.

Reactor No. 3 - Cold shutdown.

Reactor No. 4 - Cooling failure, then cold shutdown.

The Guardian is also running live updates; earlier than the BBC.

A spreadsheet of all radiation readings for the last two days:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/lv?key=tgXu86sAcSkqNVbyCooH_Bw&type=view&gid=0&f=true&sortcolid=24&sortasc=true&rowsperpage=62

3/15/2011 . Edited 3/15/2011 #76
Pure Evil Breed

1313: Austria will relocate its Japanese embassy from Tokyo to Osaka given the unpredictable situation of the quake-hit nuclear power plants, the Austrian foreign ministry has said, according to Agence France Presse.

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1320: Richard Robinson in Ashikaga, writes: "In response to David Littman's comment at 8:55GMT my school in Ashikaga was business as usual. The lights were kept off to save energy but all lessons went ahead as planned, even with sports being played outside."Have Your Say

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1325:A vast gallery of imagessurveying the damage in Japanfrom the New York

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1328:Japan's largest utility may impose a rolling blackout in an upcoming three-day weekend and expects power demand to outstrip supplies on Wednesday, Tokyo Electric Power Co says according to Reuters.

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1336: Levels of radiation in Tokyo spiked on Wednesday morning to around 20 times normal levels, according a spokesman for Tokyo's Metropolitan Government, quoted by the Japan Times. Shintaro Ishihara, said though raised they would not cause health problems.

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1342: Lauren Cha, a language teacher in Aizumisato Fukushima, writes: "Yesterday everything seemed fine and we were talked out of leaving, but today the situation looks a bit more grim and everyone is getting worried. Foreign residents are more eager to leave. The reports we are hearing from the international media sound sensational while the local media have been playing down the situation."Have Your Say

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1345: Reuters says a magnitude 6.0 tremor has struck - one of the largest of dozens of aftershocks felt in Japan over recent days. The agency says buildings in Tokyo were swaying.

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1350: If you are just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. More than 2,400 people are now known to have been killed but many are still missing and whole towns have been swept away. There is deep concern about the safety of nuclear power plants close to the quake zone, with officials saying radiation from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant has reached harmful levels.

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1353: A reminder also that a fake text message claiming to be from the BBC has been circulating in Asia warning people of radiation leaks. This is nothing to do with the BBC so if you have received it, please ignore it and follow advice from your local authorities.

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1355: The US military has detected low levels of radiation at its Yokosuka base, south of Tokyo, Reuters reports.

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1359: The US Army has recommended that personnel and families at the base - and at the Atsugi air base - take precautions, says Reuters.

3/15/2011 #77
Yggdra

0003: A new fire that broke out inside reactor 4 at the Fukushima Daaichi nuclear plant, which was damaged in Friday's earthquake and tsunami, appears to be out. This was the second time in two days that the reactor where spent nuclear rods were being kept caught fire. Workers at the plant are pumping sea-water through several of the plant's reactors in an effort to cool and stabilise them. Japanese media reports say radiation levels at the reactors remain too high for workers there to approach them. Japan's Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have expressed concern and called for the provision of more timely, and accurate information.

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0008: The Japanese authorities are still struggling to cope with the humanitarian aftermath of Friday's earthquake and tsunami. More than 500,000 people are living in temporary shelters, which are short of water, food and fuel - while more freezing weather and snow is predicted for the days ahead. Nearly 3,500 people are now known to have died and many more remain unaccounted for. Ninety-one countries have offered aid ranging from blankets, to search dogs and military transport aircraft.

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0010: Tokyo shares are 3.73 per cent higher due to bargain buying in the wake of a massive two-day sell off of stocks amid fears of the threat of nuclear meltdown.

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0017: Masayuki Okumiya, from Tokyo, Japan, writes: "It is 0900 in Tokyo, and the scenery of commute looks normal. JR Chuo-Line is operating on schedule, and there are as many commuters in stations as ever without any panic nor confusion, seemingly. I have heard that some companies advised their employees to stay at home during this week, but don't know how many corporates are doing like that. I am worried about the situtations at the nuclear plants of course, but it doesn't look like imminent. Hopefully, my judgement, instinct, hunch, or whatever is right." Have Your Say

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0022: Another update on the Nikkei: Tokyo stocks are already up 6% in early trading following the biggest two-day sell-off for 24 years.

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0029: Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) says it will be extremely difficult to spray water from a helicopter to cool down a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel in the No.4 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Earlier Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that the storage pool could be boiling, while Tepco said readings showed high levels of radiation, making the building inaccessible.

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0031: Three decades before the current nuclear crisis in Japan, the eyes of the world were on an unfolding disaster in America. The BBC's Katie Connolly writes about the lessons of Three Mile Island.

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0038: An American assistant teacher on the JET programme is unaccounted for in quake-hit Iwate, Japan's Kyodo News reports, quoting the Japanese Consulate General in New York. For more details on the safety of participants, go to the JET website.

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0045: The Tokyo Electric Power Company is implementing rolling blackouts in the Tokyo area for the third consecutive day, amid major power shortages. The company, which operates the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, says the outages will last about three hours for affected areas.

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0056: Japan's central bank has injected a further $43bn (£26.75bn) into the money markets to ease the impact of quake, the Associated Press reports.

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0103 : The Daily Yomiuri, a Japanese English-language newspaper, tweets: "120 maguro tuna at an experimental fish farm in Wakayama mysteriously died suddenly yesterday.

Experts suspect it was related to the tsunami."

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0117: Live Japanese television pictures appear to show white smoke still billowing from the building housing the No.4 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, despite reports that a new fire there was under control. 3/15/2011 . Edited 3/15/2011 #78
Pure Evil Breed

0131 :The Daily Yomiuri tweets: "China announces it will start radiation checks on Japanese goods arriving at ports and airports."

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0137 :Voice of America's Seoul-based north-east Asia correspondent Steve Herman tweets: "Testy Tepco officials telling reporters difficult from the live NHK video to tell what's happening at Fukushima-1 right now."

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0146 :Tepco says the reactor 3 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been emitting white smoke for about 45 minutes, Kyodo News reports.The plant's reactor 4 was the one where a fire broke out earlier this morning, Tepco said.

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0155 :Shiho Fukada, writing on New York Times's Lens blog about photographing the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, says:"Tomorrow, we are going back to where we were today. I want to see more rescue efforts there. You have to make lots of judgments in really quick time: where to go, what to do, when to leave - without having much information. That's really hard, the instinct. That's very critical. Quick, smart judgments when you have limited information. And limited time. And limited fuel."

3/15/2011 #79
Pure Evil Breed

0206 :Mark MacKinnon, East Asia correspondent for the Canadian national newspaper The Globe and Mail tweets: "It's now snowing in Rikuzen-Takanata, the devastated town I wrote about ( Survivors, rescuers don't need that."

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0208 :South Korea says it will send some 50 tonnes of its boron reserves to Japan after a request from Tokyo, Reuters reports. The metalloid is vital for stopping fission nuclear reactions in nuclear reactors.

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0211 :The Daily Yomiuri tweets: "Tokyo Electric officials say the white smoke being reported at the Fukushima No1 nuclear plant could possibly be steam."

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0219 :The New York Times reports on the 50 workers who have remained behind at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, "braving radiation and fire".

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0221:Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says the authorities are still looking for the cause of white smoke billowing from reactor 3 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. He says the radiation reading at the plant is fluctuating by the hour.

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02236: 6 Mr Edano, Japan's chief government spokesman, says workers trying to douse the reactors with water were forced to retreat when radiation levels surged there.

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0236: Mr Edano, Japan's chief government spokesman, says workers trying to douse the reactors with water were forced to retreat when radiation levels surged there.

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0252:Two crew members on an Australian search and rescue helicopter showed low levels of radiation contamination after they were forced to make an emergency landing in Fukushima on Wednesday, AFP news agency reports. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was quoted as saying the radiation was detected on their boots. They landed about 12 miles (20km) outside the exclusion zone surrounding the plant.

3/15/2011 #80
Yggdra

0320: Staff have now been evacuated from Fukushima because of a spike in radiation levels, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.

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0325: More on that news conference by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano. He said: "At around 0830 today, at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, white smoke has been seen coming out of reactor three. And regarding this, currently we are looking for the cause.

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0349: Japan says it is ready to ask the US military for help in battling the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, the AFP news agency reports.

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0401: An earthquake hits eastern Japan, with the force strong enough to sway buildings in Tokyo.

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0404: More details on that new quake. No tsunami warning was immediately issued, but the Japan Meteorological Agency said a change in sea levels was possible, the AFP reports.

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0411: tokyoreporter tweets: "And the shaking is on again in Tokyo... pretty decent this time".

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0422: The Japan Meteorological Agency said it was a 6.0 magnitude quake in the Pacific just off Chiba prefecture.

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0428: The Japanese government is ready to release rice stockpiles wherever needed, the country's farm minister is quoted as saying by the Kyodo news agency.

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0433: France is now urging its nationals in Tokyo to leave Japan or head to the south of the country, Reuters reports. It says Paris has asked the Air France carrier to provide planes for the evacuation.

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0446: elizadushku tweets: "Japan~ images roll before my eyes throughout the days since you were ravaged... We are all one&together we will overcome... Deepest love".

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0456: More on the evacuation of French nationals from Japan. The BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo says the evacuation will begin on Thursday. Two French planes are already on their way to Japan.

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0500: The Japanese government has now decided to put off for at least two months gubernatorial, mayoral and assembly elections in April in areas worst-hit by the earthquake and tsunami, Kyodo reports.

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0510: Japan's worsening nuclear crisis will now be compared to the Chernobyl disaster, an editorial in Japan's Asahi Shimbun says. It adds that the unprecedented disaster will test the resilience of Japanese society.

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0524: Taro Kono, a Japanese opposition politician, criticises the government for not releasing information about the smoke above the Fukushima nuclear plant earlier. He tells the BBC that a three-hour delay in informing people has caused concern among the population.

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0530: The US State Department tweets: "For concerns about a specific U.S. citizen in #Japan, please call 1-888-407-4747 or email . "

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0539: The Japanese government has decided to accept the help of doctors from overseas as an exceptional measure to treat survivors of the devastating earthquake, foreign ministry officials are quoted as saying by Kyodo. The news agency says that Canada and several other countries have offered to dispatch medical teams.

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0556: Peter McArthur, an English language teacher, tells the BBC that he and his wife have now moved from Narita, Chiba prefecture, to Osaka because of safety concerns. He says: "We decided to get out because the stress and worry posed a threat to my health. In fact, I've probably been exposed to more radiation on the flight than I would have been if I'd stayed put! My wife feels ashamed to leave behind family who are dutifully going to work as normal. I'm torn because I feel a commitment to Japan and their way of life, but the stress was starting to affect my health." Have Your Say

3/15/2011 . Edited 3/15/2011 #81
Yggdra

0606: markmackinnon tweets: "Amid everything going wrong in Japan, the polite helpfulness ordinary Japanese offer to a stranger astonishes me."

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0611: Tokyo stocks rebound sharply after Tuesday's dramatic plunge, with the Nikkei up 5.68%.

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0623: Workers at the Fukushima plant have returned after being evacuated, CNN is quoting Tokyo Electric Power Company as saying.

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0625: Shares in Fukushima's operator TEPCO plunge 24.7% in Tokyo's trade, the AFP reports.

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0635: Tomo Akiyama in Tokyo tweets: "Distance between Three Mile Island&NYC: 100 miles / Between Fukushima Nuclear Plant&Tokyo: 150 miles. Stay calm people."

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0640: Ree Coulbourne in Shin-Urayasu, Japan writes: "I am a missionary in Chiba prefecture. The churches here have mobilised. The donations from the community are pouring in. We have taken a truckload up to Fukushima each of the past three nights. We hear about more radiation, are afraid to let our kids outside but we are not suffering like Fukushima, and we want to help if we can." Have Your Say

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0648: The mayor of Koriyama city, near Fukushima, says there's a desperate need for fuel, oil water and food for evacuees. "I really would like \rto appeal to the world: We need help," the mayor, Masao Hara, tells AFP.

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0645: Sophia Fukunishi tweets: "I've come to Kyoto to escape the tremors in Tokyo and the hotel has put me in room 9-11. Wonderful."

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0653: South Korea is planning to ship boric acid to Japan, Kyodo news reports. It says Japan requested the boric acid, which is used to stop fission nuclear reactions, after its own supplies were largely used up at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

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0657: Joseph Frost in Tokyo writes: "I listened to an interview on the BBC saying that there is no risk to Tokyoites, even in a worse-case scenario concerning the Fukushima nuclear plant. But I keep coming across other reports about elevated radiation levels already being detected here. Can anyone say definitively that even in the case of a meltdown Tokyo residents are completely safe?" Have Your Say

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0702: Japan's NHK TV confirms that the evacuation order for nuclear plant workers has been lifted.

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0706: Some rare good news for Japan's economy: Toyota says it will restart some domestic auto parts production from Thursday, Reuters reports. But it has not yet decided when to restart its 12 main assembly plants.

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0709: Steve Herman of Voice of America tweets: "It just started snowing here in Fukushima-ken."

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0714: A reminder that freezing weather is forecast over the coming days in Japan, making things even tougher for those made homeless by the earthquake and tsunami. Temperatures have already plunged to 0C in many of the affected areas."

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0719: A helicopter used to pour water over one of the reactors has taken off, Japanese TV reports.

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0722: Charles Chen in Tokyo writes: "There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety for people in Tokyo - especially amongst foreigners - regarding the nuclear situation in Fukushima. But I believe that part of the anxiety is due to the reporting. Speaking as a scientist, it may be true that 'higher than normal' levels of radiation have been measured in the Tokyo area; however, that must be put into proper context in terms of what levels are potentially harmful to human health. We are not anywhere near the level of danger." Have Your Say

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0725: The total number of dead or missing is now more than 11,000 Japan's NHK TV reports - the first time since WWII that so many people have been killed in Japan in a natural disaster.

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0728: The Daily Yomiuri has posted a collection of recent photos of the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.

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0732: The number of confirmed dead now stands at 3,771, Japan's NHK TV reports. There are nearly 8,000 people missing.

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0737: Japan's Emperor Akihito is making a televised address to the nation.

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0739: "I pray for the safety of as many people as possible" - Emperor Akihito.

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0741: The emperor expresses his condolences to disaster victims, appeals to people not to give up hope.

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0745: These are the first public comments from the emperor since Friday's earthquake and tsunami. It's very rare for him to make such appearances. He says he's "deeply worried" after an earthquake he describes as "unprecedented in scale".

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0750: Emperor Akihito also expressed concern about the continuing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant during his address.

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0755: Turkey is advising citizens to postpone non-essential travel to Japan, Reuters reports, while Australia is advising its nationals to consider leaving Tokyo and the eight worst-affected prefectures.

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0759: If you're just joining us, the latest on the nuclear crisis in Japan is that staff have returned to work at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, after a rise in radiation levels forced them to temporarily abandon the facility. Earlier, a blaze struck reactor four at Fukushima Daiichi for the second time in two days, and smoke was seen billowing from reactor three.The pant has suffered several explosions, triggering radiation leaks.

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0801: Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.

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0806: Japan's NHK TV reports that a helicopter that is to drop water over Reactor Three will pass over the reactor many times. It says the helicopter can't stay too long over the plant because of the risk of radiation to the crew. Images of the helicopter show it scooping water from the sea into a red container similar to those used in fire-fighting operations around the world.

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0811: The second British rescue team (not the government team) - International Rescue Corps - is on its way back from Tokyo after the British Embassy in Tokyo refused to give them a letter of authorisation which would allow them entry into the disaster zones and enable them to get fuel. "There's an emptiness and disbelief," said Willie McMartin, IRC Operations Director. "This was the 32nd world disaster we have been to and we've only had problems twice before with host governments in China and Afghanistan. We have never encountered the position where the British embassy, our own country, came up with a show stopper."

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0816: Prices for private jets have leapt up as thousands of people trying to get out of Japan put in orders, Reuters reports. "I got a request yesterday to fly 14 people from Tokyo to Hong Kong, 5 hour 5 minutes trip. They did not care about price," Reuters quotes Jackie Wu of Hong Kong Jet as saying.

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0821: Another quote from Japan's emperor: ''I sincerely hope that the people will overcome this unfortunate time by engendering a sense of caring for other people,'' he said in an address broadcast a short while ago.

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0827: Following that item on the demand for private jets, Reuters is also running a story on the flight of foreign bankers from Tokyo. This despite a denial from the Tokyo-based International Bankers Association that any exodus was under way.

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0832: The radiation level at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reached a high of 10 millisievert per hour at one point Wednesday morning, Kyodo reports. Here's a Q&A on the health risks from radiation.

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0837: Here's a full story on the evacuation of staff by foreign companies.

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0842: The World Health Organisation says there is no evidence of any significant spread of radiation. The WHO's Michael O'Leary urges governments and members of the public to take steps to halt rumours about "a threatening radiation cloud spreading across Asia".

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0847: The UK's Daily Telegraph has a piece based on Wikileaks cables saying Japan was warned by the IAEA more than two years ago that its nuclear power plants were not capable of withstanding powerful earthquakes.

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0851: Kaz Nakatani tweets: "We are deeply grateful to the Emperor for his day and night pray for peace&quiet of the country."

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0855: Tomoko Hosaka of the Associated Press tweets: "The emperor's address wasn't live. He taped it earlier today, according to the Imperial Household Agency. #tsunami"

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0901: Army has aborted an operation to spray water on the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Japan's NHK TV reports.

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0906: Spain is to review security at all of its six nuclear plants, AFP reports.

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0908: Chief cabinet secretary and government spokesman Yukio Edano is giving another press conference. He has reaffirmed that there is no immediate health risk around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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0913: Chief cabinet secretary Edano says preparations are being made to inject water from the ground into Reactor Four at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

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0917: Here's a much fuller quote from Emperor Akihito's address: "The number of people killed is increasing day by day and we do not know how many people have fallen victim. I pray for the safety of as many people as possible. People are being forced to evacuate in such severe conditions of bitter cold, with shortages of water and fuel. I cannot help praying that rescue work is done swiftly and people's lives get better, even a little... I sincerely hope that we can keep the situation from getting worse. I have received messages of condolence from heads of state of various countries with kind words that their hearts are with the victims. Allow me to convey the words to people in the afflicted areas."

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0921: Luke Cummings, who grew up in Sendai and now lives in Tokyo, is shuttling back and forth between the capital and the north-east to help with the rescue effort. He tells the BBC World Service that he and a friend reacted to a web alert by the authorities asking for food. "Right now we have one truck and one big van that we use to transport food and other supplies," he says, adding that there are other groups from the capital trying to help. "We are connected with the food bank in Tokyo, they are supplying us with food, and they also have a couple of trucks they are going up with to take supplies." 3/16/2011 #82
Lord Kelvin

0925: Our correspondent Rachel Harvey, in Ofunato on the country's eastern coast, says: "There is the odd ATM sign and road sign still standing but everything else here has been flattened. This is the scene of a pretty sizeable search-and-rescue operation but it is rapidly becoming a search for bodies, and not survivors."

0928: The Daily Yomiuri tweets: "Tokyo Intl #Anime Fair, which was due to be held in Tokyo from March 24-27, has been canceled due to #jpquake."

0933: Some interesting comments on the psychological impact of nuclear crises from David Spiegelhalter, professor of the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge: "Nuclear issues really tick all the boxes when it comes to peoples' fears. It's been researched very well that it's an area where all the things that make people shudder come to the fore," he tells the BBC World Service. "The idea of some sort of invisible threat, something you can't see - it's associated with cancer, people don't feel in control of it, you cannot just get to the high ground."

0938: Prof Spiegelhalter adds that fear is exacerbated by the fact that most people do not understand the science behind nuclear power. "There is a real emotional, gut feeling response to it. And of course it is usually tied in with trust - with trust in authorities, in the electricity company and in what you are being told. And that takes a long time to build up, even in situations when there is no apparent risk. So it's a very tricky issue."

0943: The BBC's Clive Myrie in Yamagata has been speaking to volunteers helping out in an evacuation centre. One woman came down to help out with her son when she heard it was being set up. "The whole country is pulling together - we've seen all the images on television and everyone wants to do what they can to help," Natsuko Suzuki said.

0948: Ashley Thompson in Shizuoka, Japan tweets: "No water at drug store either - and not much toilet paper/tissue..."

0951: From Paris, the BBC's Christian Fraser says that France's decision to offer it Tokyo-based citizens the chance to leave is partially motivated by domestic political problems. "Obviously it is a precaution and they might be accused of scaremongering but their new Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has been keen to get on the front foot, to show that they are in charge of the situation," he said.

0956: Water is being poured into Reactors Five and Six at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Reuters reports, quoting the operating company.

0959: Following reports that several governments plan to reconsider their nuclear strategy after the events in Japan, science journalist Angela Saini tells the BBC World Service that this makes sense in seismically active zones. "But it would would just be reckless to throw energy policy up in the air because of an incident that affected one country, [it's] almost freakishly rare for there to be an earthquake and a tsunami and for emergency services to be overwhelmed like that," she says.

1005: A reminder from Tuesday that Germany is temporarily shutting down its seven oldest nuclear reactors while it reconsiders its nuclear strategy. The Swiss government has suspended decisions on its nuclear programme, Russia has announced that it'll carry out a review of its nuclear power sector, and the EU has reached agreement on "stress tests" for all European nuclear facilities.

1010: More on the current nuclear situation from chief cabinet secretary Edano. He says those outside a 20km exclusion zone around the troubled plant are not in any immediate danger, and that at 4pm local time the level of radiation at the plant was stable at about 1.5 millisieverts.

1014: Just to clarify, those within 20km of the Fukushima Daiichi plant have been evacuated, while those within 20-30km have been advised to stay indoors.

1019:We now have a full story on the UK team that says it was turned back because of red tape at the British embassy in Tokyo. The British ambassador to Japan said the embassy had helped the team as much as it could.

1024:Hiroko Tabuchi of the New York Times tweets: "More on plant workers: they took cover for 45mins on site&left water pumps running. There was no suspension of operations. TEPCO official"

1026:The governor of Japan's Fukushima prefecture says the level of worry and anger among residents has been "pushed to the limit".

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Lord Kelvin

1031:Tokyo's Ueno Zoo will postpone the public display of a pair of giant pandas leased from China, initially scheduled on 22 March, Kyodo new reports. Tama Zoological Park, Tokyo Sea Life Park and Inokashira Park Zoo, will also be closed due to the risk from aftershocks and in order to save electricity.

1037:The economic impact from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is expected to be huge. But after falling sharply on Monday and Tuesday, stocks on the Nikkei 225 gained 5.7% to close at 9,093.72 points on Wednesday. You can read our business story here.

1041:Economists expect that a sharp contraction in Japan as the country struggles to deal with huge damage to infrastructure could be followed by a recovery once the effect of government spending on public works kicks in.

1044:China has become the latest country to order a review of security at its nuclear plants and suspend the approval of new nuclear projects, AFP reports.

1049:Referring to Emperor Akihito's broadcast address earlier, Japan's NHK TV commentary says that this is the first time the emperor has used a video message to convey his feelings to the Japanese people.

1053:Reuters reports that while the emperor has given occasional pre-recorded news conferences on set occasions such as his birthday and before overseas trips, the suddenness of the message, its simultaneous airing on nationwide TV and its content were unprecedented. After the earthquake in Kobe in 1995, which killed more than 6,400 people, \rEmperor Akihito issued a written statement, AFP says.

1055:French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he will call a special G20 meeting to discuss the energy sector in light of events in Japan. France currently holds the G20 presidency.

1103:The BBC's Christian Fraser points out that no other country relies as heavily as France on nuclear power. It relies on nuclear power for 75% of it domestic supplies.It has 19 plants and 58 reactors. France is also at the forefront of nuclear technology, and President Sarkozy knows the debate over nuclear energy following events in Japan will affect the fortunes of the giant nucelar group Areva.

1107:France has also called a meeting of G7 finance ministers to respond to the crisis in Japan, Reuters reports. Finance Minister Christine Lagarde says the meeting will look at "how we can take part in their debt issues and how we can react on a financial level".

1110:The BBC's Piers Scholfield tweets: "spoke to lots of tokyo residents about nuclear situation. generally foreigners more twitchy but plenty of locals sending families south too"

1113:Japan's main news agency, Kyodo, says the current death toll from Friday's earthquake and tsunami will inevitably climb higher as the recovery of bodies mainly in the tsunami-hit coastal areas "starts in full swing".

1117:Some 430,000 people displaced by the natural disaster are staying in more than 2,400 shelters, according to Kyodo. It reports that prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima are seeking to build 32,800 temporary housing units.

1120:Sato Takero from Sendai has given his reaction to the Japanese emperor's address: "I was born after World War Two," he says. "This is the first time for me to see him on TV or through the internet. It's something beyond imagination. If you understand the culture of the Japanese it is very, very rare for him to come out."

1125:From the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): "The Japanese Red Cross is telling us that Tokyo is safe, as far as nuclear radiation is concerned, and that foreigners can come in to travel."

1135:Like other countries, France is to check its nuclear reactors following the problems in Japan. But President Nicolas Sarkozy's faith in the country's nuclear programme seems unshaken. "France has made the choice of nuclear energy, which is an essential element of its energy independence and the fight against greenhouse gases," he told his cabinet today. "This choice has been unseparable from an unfaltering undertaking to ensure a very high level of safety at our nuclear installations. I remain today convinced of the pertinence of these choices."

1145:Tepco, which runs the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, has apologised on its website for an earlier incident in which "an abnormal noise began emanating from [a] pressure suppression chamber". This led to a temporary evacuation of workers. "We are aware of and sincerely apologize for the great distress and inconvenience this incident has caused to not just those inhabitants residing in the immediate vicinity but also society at large," Tepco says.

1150:China is to donate 10,000 tonnes of diesel and 10,000 tonnes of gasoline to Japan to help counter shortages, China's Xinhua news agency reports.

1214:Japanese police have been asked to send watercannon truck to hose down the nuclear plant, Japan's broadcaster NHK is reporting, according to AFP.

1219:Thailand's health ministry says that from Thursday it will give free potassium iodide tablets to travellers flying to Tokyo from airports in Bangkok and Phuket, AP reports. The substance protects the thyroid gland against cancer by blocking absorption of radioactive iodine. Supplies in Japan are reportedly already running short.

1219:Thailand's health ministry says that from Thursday it will give free potassium iodide tablets to travellers flying to Tokyo from airports in Bangkok and Phuket, AP reports. The substance protects the thyroid gland against cancer by blocking absorption of radioactive iodine. Supplies in Japan are reportedly already running short.

1242:Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.

1255:Tsunami waves triggered by Japan's quake touched all of New Zealand's coasts, scientists say, with an 86cm wave recorded in the port of Lyttelton.

1306:The musician, artist and former wife of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, has been speaking to the BBC. "The Japanese people are very interesting in the sense that they are a peaceful people. You see that even in the videos when you're looking at it. You know there's no-one screaming and shouting. They're just very sad and expressing sadness, more sadness than anger I think," she told the World Service "Takeaway" programme.

1311:The BBC's Clive Myrie, in a school that has been transformed into an evacuation centre in Yamagata, says people are being tested for radiation when they arrive. Local residents have been helping out - bringing spare blankets, fuel and water. But some of the supermarkets and convenience stores are already rationing their supplies and a sports centre down the road is getting ready to welcome a further 1,000 people.

1318:Colin Ellis, of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, has told the BBC that the long-term impact of the disaster in Japan on the international economy will be limited. "It's a net exporter rather than a net importer, so it doesn't suck in loads of demand from the rest of the world," he told the BBC World Service. "It will definitely impact in terms of Asian growth, but it may be partly about recalibrating away from the factories that are shut and the infastructure that has been destroyed to elsewhere in Asia."

1324:Japan has raised the maximum radiation dose allowed for nuclear workers, to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts. It described the move as "unavoidable due to the circumstances", AP reports.

1331:The European Parliament has held a minute of silence to pay respect to the victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami, vowing to stand by the country. "In the name of the European Parliament I would like to offer condolences to the families of the victims and to the entire Japanese nation," said the president of the 27-nation assembly, Jerzy Buzek, AFP reports.

1339:The BBC's Tim Wilcox has met many foreigners waiting to take flights out of Japan at Tokyo's Narita airport. Many, like Aiko - flying home to San Francisco - have resigned from their jobs to leave the country. "I think they understand that my mother is worried and that for the safety of myself, as well as those here that are not citizens of this country, evacuation is the best route," she said.

1343:Finland held a radiation drill on Wednesday, but said it was planned a year ago and was unconnected to the Japan crisis. "We have a lot of disaster exercises all the time, each with their own theme," Hannele Aaltonen, a safety expert at Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, told AFP.

1346:Taiwan's leading telecom operator, Chunghwa Telecom, has said that two jointly owned undersea cables linking Japan and the US were damaged by Japan's earthquake. The cables serve as links for internet and voice services between Taiwan with the US, AFP reports.

1348:Russia's nuclear chief has said the country's overseas nuclear power construction business is likely to be affected by the disaster in Japan, Reuters reports.

1352: Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear power corporation, has been working on building nuclear plants in India, Bulgaria, Venezuela and Turkey, AP reports.

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Lord Kelvin

1356:More from Russia's nuclear chief. He has just said the situation in Japan is playing out according to a worst-case scenario, Reuters reports.

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1406:The BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo says the city is still relatively calm. The risk for the authorities is that fear and panic could cause more problems than the radiation itself, he says.

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1412:The BBC's Clive Myrie is at a shelter in a school in Yamagata, where people are beginning to bed down for another night. One man arriving at the centre told him he had not heard from his relatives since the quake hit on Friday.

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1414:The man told our correspondent it had been enormously comforting for him to see, for the first time in his life, Emperor Akihito addressing the country and him as a citizen.

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1418:Philippe Stoll from the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva says it is difficult to identify who has survived the earthquake and tsunami and who has been killed. "There are still places where there is no electricity, no phones, even satellite phones don't work," he tells the BBC World Service.

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1420:"Some people are alive and can't say it, and those eager to know what's happening to their family cannot find information," said Mr Stoll. "I don't know how many of the phone numbers saved on your mobile phone you know by heart. How do you reach someone whose number you have in the mobile you lost ? These are the little details that make this much more complicated."

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1423:Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have vowed to press on with plans to co-build a £12.5bn ($20bn:14.3bn euro) nuclear power plant in Turkey. Mr Medvedev said the project was different from Japan in both age and the level of protection. "Even after what happened in Japan there will be no radical review of security measures as they are already sufficient," he said.

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1424:Simon, from Nagoya, Japan, writes: "I went to the immigration office in Nagoya today to get a re-entry visa, just in case. It took four hours. Many foreigners doing the same thing - readying themselves to leave. Supermarkets here are running low on water, toilet rolls and instant cup noodles. I am very much hoping the reactor problem is solved soon." Have Your Say

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1434:Tomoko Ozawa from Fukushima city writes: "My situation is still better than others. I cannot shower due to lack of water and it is impossible to get gasoline, but I am alive. The nuclear plants are very scary. If the wind direction changes, the radioactivity might reach Fukushima city. I heard places 30 minutes away from me are contaminated and that we should not touch any rainfall. I do not want to be exposed to radiation in any way. But, I cannot go to another place because there is no gasoline and the trains are not running. I will do what I can do. I just hope that there are no more problems with the nuclear plants." Have Your Say

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1435:The BBC's Sarah Grainger in Caracas says Venezuela is freezing its nuclear power plan in the wake of the crisis, after President Hugo Chavez said the earthquake and tsunami showed the risks and dangers of developing nuclear power were too great.

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1437:"The planned power plant was due to be completed by a Russian company over the next 10 years and would have produced around 4000 megawatts of power. Its development was eyed with suspicion by some countries as Venezuela already has vast reserves of oil and well developed hydroelectric," says our correspondent.

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1440:Dr Sally Leivesley, a risk management advisor, says huge amounts are being asked of the "very fatigued" workers battling fires at the Fukushima site. "They've been asked by the emperor to give their all, and they will," she tells BBC News.

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1443:Dr Leivesley said what is needed now is "real, live information" to show the true radiation threat. "People in Tokyo won't believe what's being said. They know there's radiation. But if they've got a live map that shows the changes in radiation, they'll see that Tokyo is right on the absolute edge and nothing is going to give any individual in Tokyo a problem", she said.

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1446:The mayor of Ishinomaki, in the devastated Miyagi prefecture, has told Kyodo the number of missing in that town alone is likely to reach 10,000.

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1453:The UK's Foreign Office has denied that attempts by an International Rescue team to work in Japan were thwarted by red tape, as had been reported earlier. "The UK like all other countries involved is working to a co-ordinated plan set out by the Japanese Government and all support must adhere to this plan," it said in a statement.

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1454:"It is right that the Japanese Government remains in control of the situation and are making decisions which search and rescue operations to support," said the FCO statement. "It is not true that the IRC team's effort was delayed by British red tape."

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1455: Russia will begin evacuating the families of its diplomats in Japan from 18 March, Reuters reports. 3/16/2011 #85
Lord Kelvin
1502:More on the British tream sent back from Japan. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee that any aid groups arriving in Japan needed to be integrated with the wider relief operation or to have their own logistical support, but that the UK team had had neither.

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1505:"They are a respected organisation and we want them to be able to help in many occasions in the future," Mr Hague said of IRC. "But I think sometimes it's convenient to blame our embassies for difficulties which have arisen in other ways."

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1507:The Associated Press reports that the nuclear scare is proving to be a sales bonanza for traders in iodine, face masks and radiation meters. This is particularly the case in Russia, where people have painful memories of the false securities given in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. "It is a pity that certain businessmen are trying to profit on the situation," Olga Shekhovtseva, an Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman in Russia's Primorsky region, told AP.

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1510:UK-based green campaign group Friends of the Earth have said the UK must now re-assess its plans to build more nuclear reactors.

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1512:The group's energy chief, Mike Childs, said the UK can meet all its energy needs through renewable sources and slashing waste. "New nuclear stations will inevitably starve these programmes of vital funds," he said. "We must invest in a cleaner, safer future. Nuclear power is a gamble we don't need to take."

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1515:US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has described events at the Fukushima plant as "appearing to be more serious than Three Mile Island". How much worse was not clear, he said, adding that it was very hard to tell how bad things were on the ground.

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1516:Mr Chu said there were conflicting reports coming from Japan. The US teams who have travelled there are not only assisting the Japanese, but also ensuring that the US can secure its own measurements of what is happening, he said.

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1520:The IAEA says the Japanese authorities "have reported concerns about the condition of the spent nuclear fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 and Unit 4". The pools are where the still-radioactive fuel rods are kept after they have completed their useful life in the reactor.

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1525:The EU's energy chief Guenther Oettinger has said that in the coming hours "there could be further catastrophic events, which could pose a threat to the lives of people on the island". He told the European Parliament the Fukushima nuclear site was "effectively out of control". "The cooling systems did not work, and as a result we are somewhere between a disaster and a major disaster."

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1529:More from the IAEA. Its latest briefing says that officials are preparing to spray water onto reactor four and possibly three. "Some debris on the ground from the 14 March explosion at Unit 3 may need to be removed before the spraying can begin."

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1535:French Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet has said "the worse case scenario is possible, and even probable, around the Fukushima plant," Reuters reports.

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1540:US Energy Secretary Steven Chu says the US is trying to send equipment to Japan to detect radiation levels in the ground. The department is also sending 39 personnel.

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1542:Here is the full statement from Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its evacuation plans: "In connection with the situation that has developed in Japan, the decision has been taken to temporarily withdraw family members of staff at Russian establishments in Japan, including the embassy in Tokyo, general consulates, the trade mission and a number of others, from the country, provisionally on 18 March. At present, there will be no evacuation from Japan of staff at our diplomatic missions, as well as staff from other Russian state establishments."

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1545:The Pentagon has announced that US forces must stay 50 miles (80km) away from the Fukushima reactor unless they have specific authorisation, Reuters reports.

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1548:The Pentagon said some US air crews in Japan have been given iodine tablets as a precautionary measure.

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1549:However, no US military personnel have shown signs of radiation poisoning, officials say.

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1555:Fukushima's operators, Tepco, have said they want the military to make another attempt at dumping water from a helicopter onto the damaged reactor on 17 March.

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1556:Kyodo is reporting new plumes of smoke coming from the building housing reactor three.

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1558:The IAEA's Secretary General Yukiya Amano says he plans to go to Japan as early as Thursday, AP reports.

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1605:Our news story now focuses on the Fukushima prefecture governor's criticism of the way the crisis has been handled. "Anxiety and anger felt by people have reached boiling point," said Yuhei Sato.

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1606:We have a new gallery of images from Japan, showing some of the damage to Fukushima and the terrible conditions in which survivors and rescue workers have found themselves.

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1610:Risk modeling firm Eqecat has put the insured losses in Japan at between $12bn and $25bn, one of the costliest natural disasters in history, reports Reuters.

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1613:AFP reports that the Japanese yen rose to its highest levels against the dollar since 1995 on Wednesday.

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1615:IAEA chief Yukiya Amano has said the situations is "very serious". He has urged Japan to give more information, as he prepares to fly to the country./

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1617:Mr Amano said he hoped to return from Japan with "firsthand information" and to address the issue of improving the flow of information to the IAEA, AP reports.

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1624:Mr Amano said: "At units four, five and six, which were not operating at the time of the earthquake, increased temperatures were observed at the spent fuel ponds. As far as radiation levels are concerned, those rates in Tokyo and other cities have increased very slightly but levels are not dangerous to human health."

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1629:Writing for NPR, David Ropeik, an instructor at Harvard University, says the fear of radiation could be worse than the radiation itself. "Nuclear radiation is dangerous. But so is worrying too much about lesser risks and not enough about bigger ones."

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1630: The EU is urging member states to check food imports from Japan for radiation, AFP reports.
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Lord Kelvin
1633:Dr Richard Wakeford of the University of Manchester in the UK says the real health risks come from the consequences of the quake and tsunami, not the radiation. "If this was a developing country, we'd have people going down in their hundreds and thousands with the likes of typhoid and cholera by now. The questions should be: Where is the sewage going? What is the state of the drinking water? If I were a public health official, that would be my principle concern," he told Reuters.

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1635:The BBC's Mike Wooldridge says the snow now falling heavily on the quake-hit zone is complicating efforts to rescue any survivors, and to retrieve bodies.

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1638:Latest official figures show 4,314 people are now known to have died in the disaster, AFP reports.

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1639:The figures show 8,606 people are missing and 2,282 have been injured.

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1640:The number of dead is expected to rise. The mayor of Ishinomaki said earlier than 10,000 people were thought to be missing in his town alone and a similar number was given in Minamisanriku.

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1645:A spokeswoman for EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has clarified his earlier remarks that "further catastrophic events" were expected. "He just wanted to share his concern and that he was really touched by all the images of people and the victims," said Marlene Holzner. "In this sense, he said that according to we have seen in the media, it seems that in the nuclear power plants at the moment we do not have technical control."

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1649:On Tuesday, Mr Oettinger had said Japan was facing an "apocalypse".

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1651: IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told the press conference earlier on Wednesday it was "not the time to say things are out of control". He said the Fukushima operators were "doing the maximum to restore the safety of the reactor"

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1654:The BBC's Rachel Harvey is in Ofunato, a port city devastated by the waves. "There is what looks like a house that is now sitting on its side - it has obviously been picked up by the tsunami, carried along and then just dumped. And everywhere you look there are cars that are on top of buildings or in the high levels of buildings, left there as the water surged through."

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1657:Roy Wilshire, a member of the British team in Ofunato, said he had been struck by the response of local people. "We had a fire-fighter from the local fire service with us whose own home had been destroyed by the tsunami but he had been working every day since. When you see the people in the streets and you can see the devastation in their eyes, this is a major shock to them."

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1659:Another survivor, Yoichi Yamazaki, said it was so cold he was unable to sleep at night. "Nature, it seems, is in no mood to give the survivors of this disaster any respite," says our correspondent.

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1701:France is arranging for extra planes to take their nationals home from Japan on Thursday. Julian Ellmann, spokesman for the embassy in Tokyo, says the advice for French citizens in the capital is "to go the south of Japan, to Kyoto, for example, and for those who want to, come back to France".

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1702:Mr Ellmann tells the BBC World Service that the embassy is taking calls around the clock, "receiving more than 1000 calls a day". A 114-strong French rescue team "is now in Sendai helping the Japanes search and rescue teams", he adds.

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1706:A reminder that all our reports, analysis, graphics and explainers have been brought together in one place, on the BBC's Japan Earthquake special report page.

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1711:The BBC's Environment correspondent Richard Black says the fact that the focus is now on reactor four - which was not operating at the time of the quake - is a surprise. He has been looking at what might have happened in the reactor and what is being done to save it.

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1720:Kyodo reports that the US military is to fly an unmanned plane over Fukushima, equipped with infrared sensors, to give an aerial view of what is going on.

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1726:Is Tepco becoming Japan's BP? BBC Business reporter Mark Gregory says that like BP's struggle with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Fukushima operator has found itself struggling to cope with a situation it never saw coming.

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1729:US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the US has to answer questions about "the costs and the risks" of nuclear power. "We get 20% of our energy right now in the United States from nuclear power," she said. \r

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1735:The Fukushima plant has a total of six nuclear reactors - all of which have been affected to varying degrees. Our annotated aerial picture shows the layout of the site and outlines what workers are facing at each reactor.

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1738: The US is advising its citizens living within 80km (50 miles) of Fukushima to evacuate or stay indoors.
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Lord Kelvin
1742:Switzerland has also advised that its citizens leave north-east Japan and Tokyo. "At the moment, the development in the damaged nuclear facility is unpredictable and aftershocks are possible," said Swiss president Micheline Calmy-Rey.

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1743:The Swiss foreign ministry said it would lay on charter flights if necessary to bring Swiss nationals home.

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1750:The International Rescue Corps has returned to the UK after it was sent back from Japan. Team leader Ray Gray said he was disappointed to be home so soon. "We flew over there with the intention of doing what I thought would have been a good job and a worthwhile job at the request of the Japanese government, and we've spent two days in an airport because we couldn't get a permit to get on the road from the British embassy."

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1752:Mr Gray said the fault lay with the embassy. "The Japanese government issued a permit but we needed a letter from the British embassy to get the permit. They said because we weren't part of the British response, we're a non-government organisation, we couldn't have a letter."

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1755:Earlier on Wednesday, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the team had been sent home because they were not integrated into the wider rescue effort and had not brought their own logistical supplies.

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1757:This is an extract is from the US embassy's advice to its citizens in Japan: "Consistent with the NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] guidelines that apply to such a situation in the United States, we are recommending, as a precaution, that American citizens who live within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant evacuate the area or to take shelter indoors if safe evacuation is not practical."

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1759:The embassy says there are "numerous factors in the aftermath of the earthquake and Tsunami, including weather, wind direction and speed, and the nature of the reactor problem that affect the risk of radioactive contamination within this 50 mile (80 km) radius or the possibility of lower-level radioactive materials reaching greater distances."

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1803:The UK is advising its citizens to consider leaving northern Japan, Reuters reports.

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1806:The British embassy reports that there is still "no real human health issue that people should be concerned about". But the statement continues: "Due to the evolving situation at the Fukushima nuclear facility and potential disruptions to the supply of goods, transport, communications, power and other infrastructure, British nationals in Tokyo and to the north of Tokyo should consider leaving the area."

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1809:"I don't know any other way to say it, but this is like suicide fighters in a war." That's how Keiichi Nakagawa, associate professor of the Department of Radiology at the University of Tokyo Hospital, described the 180 workers battling flames at Fukushima.

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1810:The legal exposure limit for the workers was raised on Wednesday from 100 to 250 millisieverts, a move officials said was "unavoidable". Most individuals will absorb 6 millisieverts a year, AP reports.

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1818:The US Environmental Protection Agency says it is increasing its monitoring of radiation along the western coast and Pacific territories, AP reports. However the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said it does not expect harmful levels to reach North America.

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1821:The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo says there were hundreds of people in the main train station on Wednesday afternoon trying to board bullet trains heading south to Osaka and beyond. "Many were families with young children. They said they wanted to get far away from Tokyo and the radiation danger," he says.

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1823:Our correspondent says there is also growing suspicion that the government and the Tokyo Electric Company (Tepco) are not telling the whole truth about the danger to the public. "We don't trust them," one young mother told him. "They want people to stay calm so they cover up the truth. We are all very afraid she said and we want to find a way to leave the country."

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1825:Reuters reports that the quake has led to the shutdown of roughly one third of Japan's oil refining capacity of 4.5 million barrels per day. More than one fifth of its nuclear capacity, estimated at 49 gigawatts, is also believed to have been cut off.

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1832:The AP news agency is quoting Tepco as saying a new power line is almost ready which could end the crisis. The disruption of power to the pumps which send coolant through the reactors is what led to their overheating.

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1837:Gregory Jaczko, head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has said there is no water left in the spent fuel pool in reactor four, adding: "We believe that radiation levels are extremely high." Mr Jaczko was speaking to Congress in Washington and it was not immediately clear where his information had come from.

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1841:Ross in Osaka, Japan writes: "The lack of details available - or what seemed misleading at the time - encouraged me to leave the Hitachi area on Monday with my wife and young child by car. Now we are staying with friends in the Osaka area and have access to internet etc. Despite this access to the media, I still feel in the dark. There are so many opinions and suggestions, different governments giving varying advice - nobody knows what is going to happen." Have Your Say

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1843: White House spokesman Jay Carney has said the latest US evacuation order does not signal a lack of confidence in the Japanese authorities, AP reports. He said US officials were basing their recommendations on what they would do if such an incident happened at home, and that they had consulted with the Japanese government before issuing the advice.
3/16/2011 #88
Lord Kelvin
1851:UK Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne has said the advice to British nationals is "not an order" but that given the situation "British nationals should consider leaving Tokyo and northern Japan and that the capacity exists for them to do so".

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1853:Mr Browne said trains and planes were available at the moment for people wishing to leave, but that "if the capacity needs to be increased by the British government we will do that".

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1854:He told the BBC: "We are informed by the science, and the science says that outside the 30km exclusion zone there should not be a threat to human health. If we thought there was a threat to human health of a severe level in Tokyo we would have much stronger advice at this stage, saying that people should leave with immediate effect. What we are saying is that people should consider leaving Tokyo and northern Japan."

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1859:More from NRC chair Gregory Jaczko. He told Congress: "We believe that secondary containment has been destroyed and there is no water in the spent fuel pool and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures."

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1900:Mr Jackzo said the high radiation levels would make it very difficult for workers to get near the reactor. "The doses they could experience would potentially be lethal doses in a very short period of time," he said, but added that the NRC's information on the situation was "very limited".

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1906:Jun Suzuki in Kashiwa-shi, Chiba, Japan writes: "Most of the people here are confused. Some Japanese people in the Tokyo area have also started to evacuate to the west. We really appreciate the rescue teams from other countries and rescue dogs from England. They are involved in a lot of activity for us right now. Really much appreciated. Have Your Say
3/16/2011 #89
Dakyloquacious

1913: The yen has hit a 16-year high versus the dollar on the currency markets, and is within a few cents of its highest level since World War II. A high currency value could make it harder for Japanese firms to compete in trade at a time when they are already having to cope with multiple emergencies.

1917: BBC business reporter Mark Gregory says: "You would expect the currency of a country in crisis to fall in value. But the opposite has happened in Japan. During trading on Wednesday, a dollar was briefly worth less than 80 yen for the first time in 16 years. It is driven by the belief that Japanese firms will need to repatriate some of their vast overseas holdings to pay for reconstruction. This would mean swapping other currencies for yen, pushing the yen higher. This is bad news, though, for Japanese exporters. A high yen means their goods become less competitive in foreign markets just as they are reeling from the impact of an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear emergency. A similar rise in the yen took place after the Kobe earthquake in 1995. Indeed, that was the last time the Japanese currency was valued near the current level."

1924: US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said it is too early to say what effect the disasters in Japan could have on the US economy. "It's a hard judgement to make at this stage," he told a Congressional committee. "Our focus now is, as it should be, on trying to do as much as we can to help them mitigate the humanitarian costs of the catastrophe there, and we'll offer them every assistance we can."

1933: Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has said he plans to fly to Japan on Thursday to get further information about the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The BBC's Kerry Skyring says Mr Amano is under pressure to demonstrate his agency is informed and able to communicate a clear picture of what is happening. "At daily press briefings he has been unable to explain why the information provided is so sketchy. As well as flying to Japan to what he says are high level meetings he is creating two teams who will also go there, one with expertise in nuclear safety, the other in radiation protection," our correspondent adds. Asked if the situation at Fukushima was now out of control, Mr Amano said: "It is very serious. The government and operators are doing everything they can. I hope their efforts will be successful."

1945: Some 80,000 Japanese military personnel, police officers and firefighters have been deployed to areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami, the Kyodo news agency reports. The government has also mobilised 10,000 military reservists for the first time since Japan's Self-Defence Forces were established in 1954. About 420,000 displaced people are staying in more than 2,200 emergency shelters in eight prefectures.

1956: Earlier, the National Police Agency said it had confirmed 4,314 deaths in 12 prefectures, while 8,606 people remained unaccounted for in six prefectures. The Kyodo news agency reports that, in an unprecedented move, police in the badly affected provinces of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima have begun announcing the names, ages and addresses of people whose bodies have been recovered and identified based on their belongings alone, and not through a post-mortem examination.

2002: Dominic Jones from Sendai writes: "We are one of the lucky families with no cooking gas but shelter, heat, electricity, water and some food. We are not complaining, our hearts go out to our friends in temporary shelters in conditions much worse than ours. As my wife Eri and our two young children Lawrence, aged 7, and Michelle, aged 2, are asleep, The Clash's famous rock anthem of 'Should I stay or should I go?' plays in my head. We are emotionally worn out and torn between the urge to return to England to loved ones or stay with loved ones in Sendai. The main questions with no answers are: Will there be safe food and water in the coming days, weeks, months? Will the Fukushima nuclear situation improve? Will another earthquake come and knock out our "life line" as the Japanese call the combined utilities of water, power and communication. Now that the Foreign Office has advised Britons to leave northern Japan, I am making preparations to leave." Have Your Say

2010: More on the power line being laid to the Fukushima Daiichi plant to help restore the reactor cooling systems: Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) spokesman Naoki Tsunoda has said it is almost complete, and that engineers plan to test it "as soon as possible", according to the Associated Press. Reviving the electric-powered pumps might allow the engineers to finaly cool the overheated reactors and spent fuel storage ponds.

2014: A special police van equipped with a water cannon - normally used to disperse rioters - meanwhile arrived at the power station early on Thursday. Tepco plans to use the cannon to spray water onto reactor 4's spent fuel storage pond. The cannon is thought to be strong enough to allow engineers to remain a safe distance from the complex and limit their exposure to radiation.

2019: The US military will also fly one of its Global Hawk unmanned high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft over the site, possibly later on Thursday, to take photographs of the inside the building which houses reactor 4, Japanese government sources have told the Kyodo news agency. Global Hawks are already being used to survey the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

2027: Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has said it is also concerned about the spent fuel storage pool inside the building housing reactor 3 at Fukushima Daiichi. The pools at both reactors 3 and 4 are reportedly boiling - there may not even be any water left in reactor 4's pool - and unless the spent fuel rods are cooled down, they could emit large quantities radiation. Radioactive steam was earlier said to be coming from reactor 3's pool. If cooling operations did not proceed well, the situation would "reach a critical stage in a couple of days", an agency official told the Kyodo news agency.

2031: Yumi from London writes: "It appears the Japanese press have not been reporting all the information that has been made available to the rest of the world. Having contacted family in Tokyo, Ibaragi and Tochigi; asking them to come and stay in London - they told us that Japan was completely safe, that radiation levels were lower than those produced by an X-ray. It appears the vast majority of people in Tokyo are oblivious to the "mass exodus" and say the running of public transport and open businesses are proof that everything is normal. My only hope is that the Japanese government become a little more candid so that those with an option to leave Japan can do so soon." Have Your Say

2035: US officials have concluded that the Japanese warnings have been insufficient, and that, deliberately or not, they have understated the potential threat of what is taking place inside the nuclear facility, according to the New York Times. Gregory Jaczko, the chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, earlier said he believed that all the water in the spent fuel pool at reactor 4 had boiled dry, leaving fuel rods stored there exposed. "We believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures," he told a Congressional committee.

2038: Experts warn that if radiation levels become too high, workers at the plant would not only be prevented from approaching reactor 4's spent fuel pond, but also the adjacent reactors, which also have malfunctioning cooling systems.

2046: Japan's foreign ministry has asked foreign diplomats and government officials to remain calm and "accurately convey information provided by Japanese authorities concerning the plant", according to NHK television.

2057: Andreas Persbo, director of the London-based Verification Research, Training and Information Centre, has told Bloomberg that although Japan is legally obliged to provide information to the IAEA and its member states, officials in Tokyo simply may not be able to do so. "In a crisis situation, the only ones that really know what is going on are at the site and they don't have time to pick up the telephone," he explained.

2110: Stuart Blackburn from Osaka writes: "Today, I and other Britons were contacted by the foreign office, and asked to refer to a report from the government's Chief Science Officer for advice. His conclusion was plain; even if the reactors meltdown, we would be in no danger. There is no reason to leave. For me, this was the clear, expert opinion I had been waiting for. I shall not leave Japan. I began to spread the word to friends. Until, that is, I read an article from the New York Times. The reactor blasts have exposed storage pools of spent fuel to the outside. With the cooling systems down, the water covering the fuel is boiling away, and engineers are unable to conduct repairs. Should the water evaporate away, the spent rods could ignite, sending huge volumes of radioisotopes into the air. 100 rapid deaths within 500 miles. Over 100,000 deaths over time. Of course, this is a worse-case scenario. But the once quenched debate is re-ignited. Should we stay? For now, we can only wait, and talk." Have Your Say

2116: The head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commision, Gregory Jaczko, has told lawmakers that he strongly believes the US could "mitigate" the impact of a nuclear crisis similar to the one unfolding in Japan, Reuters reports.

2118: This disaster must not be seen as proof that fossil fuels are a "safe" alternative to nuclear power, writes George Monbiot in the Guardian. "While nuclear causes calamities when it goes wrong, coal causes calamities when it goes right, and coal goes right a lot more often than nuclear goes wrong.

2130: The BBC's Tim Wilcox tweets: "Just come off air - latest tremor shaking buildings around us - like sinister fairground ride - nothing compared to what last fri #japan"

2142: The Governor of the Fukushima region has criticised the official handling of the evacuation. Yuhei Sato said the people of Fukushima had reached the limits of "fear and anxiety". He said that if an evacuation was necessary, it would be difficult. "How do we move people, transport people?" he said. He said they had secured the "minimum food" but that daily supplies are all in shortage.

2144: Germany has advised citizens in Japan to consider leaving Tokyo joining a growing number of governments and businesses telling their people it may be safer elsewhere.

2148: Many airlines have suspended flights to Japan while at Tokyo's Haneda airport there are large crowds trying to get out of the capital. One man at the airport told BBC World Service: "My children are small and have their life ahead of them and I don't want them to be contaminated by the nuclear fallout."

2153: Dominic Jones, who's originally from Cornwall, lectures at a university in Sendai. He told the BBC his family are packing their bags: "Amazingly, outside our apartment they're building a new house and the builders came back and started building yesterday, which I thought was a bit crazy. And the Post Office have come round and delivered some parcels. So there is some kind of normality. But I think especially the foreign nationals are very worried about the nuclear situation. And as we have two young children, we've decided that it's best for the children to move back to England temporarily."

2156: The yen has continued to surge in early Asian trade, hitting 76.52 against the dollar, reports AFP news agency.

2201: There is some anxiety at US military bases in Japan about exposure to radiation, Reuters reports. On a Facebook page for US Naval Forces Japan, some Americans voiced concern. One living in Atsugi, Japan, where radiation was detected at a naval base, asked about a potential evacuation. "Having a toddler and being pregnant, I need to know if they can get us going," wrote 21-year-old Chelsea Origer.

2214: Japanese auto companies have extended shutdowns of car-assembly plants affected by the earthquake and tsunami, reports the Associated Press. However, some parts factories in Japan plan to resume production later this week.

2218: The BBC Damian Grammaticas in Sendai reports that a bowling alley is being used as a mortuary, as people continue to search for their loved ones. One man came looking for his wife, who disappeared in the tsunami. He could not find her name on the list of the dead, or the survivors.

2226: Nick Bikkal from Tokyo writes: "I live within Tokyo city limits. I keep reading of radiation coming into the city from the plant 200 km north of us. Technically NE of the city. Embassies are urging their citizens to leave the city and country. How can radioactivity head our way when for the last few days all the weather reports have said the wind keeps blowing from the west or NW? The official weather reports back up my statement. Either I'm still underinformed or am being misinformed. Family and friends abroad are in a panic over me and my family but I say there is an attempt to confuse and create panic. It's a media tactic to keep people glued to them. I see little support given to those working hard to help, clean up&rescue. Instead of running away people should give what they can to those in need." Have Your Say

2231: John Luke from Nerimaku, Tokyo writes: "Remember, many people are wearing masks now because it's 'hay-fever season' NOT because they are worried about radiation. Your report gives the impression people are wearing masks because of fear. Please correct this." Have Your Say

2239: Ginette Sainfort, who was rescued six days after Haiti's earthquake in January 2010, sent a message of support to Japan. "God is great. We Haitians dealt with all the difficulties, all the problems with courage. They too (the Japanese) have to realise that these problems cannot handicap their lives. Today I feel sad to see once more the effects of this sinister thing. I know that the Japanese people are suffering enormously and I am ready to say to tell them have courage, courage."

2242: The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, has said he will be travelling to Japan as soon as possible to get the latest information on the situation.

2244: Mark MacKinnon of the Globe and Mail tweets: "More alarming warnings from embassies in Tokyo suggesting citizens leave. Not bc of radiation, but bc supplies of food, fuel running low."

2253: A spokesman from the British government confirmed that a Cobra emergency response committee meeting was held on Wednesday evening to discuss the situation in Japan. It was described as an opportunity for departments and the goverment's science adviser to update the meeting on the latest situation.

2255: The IAEA has released information about the temperature of the water in the spent fuel storage pools inside reactors 4, 5 and 6 at Fukushima Daiichi. Spent fuel that has been removed from a nuclear reactor generates intense heat and the water is usually kept below 25C. The IAEA says that the temperature of the pool at reactor 4 was 84C on Tuesday morning. On Wednesday morning, it was 62.7C at reactor 5 and 60C at reactor 6. Current reports say the pools at both reactors 3 and 4 are boiling. Reactor 4's pool may even be dry.

2259: Martin in Tokyo writes: "There does seem to be a lot of panic, but it's not here in Tokyo. There is tension and obviuosly worry. However people are going about their business as normal." Have Your Say

2303: An additional 28,000 people have been evacuated from areas near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant to avoid possible exposure to radiation, NHK television reports. But many temporary shelters in the 31 municipalities in Fukushima prefecture were too overcrowded to cope with the influx and had to turn them away. The displaced are now heading to neighbouring prefectures.

2308: Harry in Nagoya, Japan writes: "There is fear spreading among the Japanese and foreigners, as day by day the supermarkets empty. I am angry at the lack of proper information. The local media and people persist in their idea that there is no need for panic while the western media and foreign embassies insist that their citizens should go back to their respective countries." Have Your Say

2311: Steve Nagata tweets: "Woke up feeling cold. Just saw a shot on tv of firefighters in the quake area walking with heavy snow. I think I can take the chill in Tokyo."

2319: The level of radiation detected at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has fallen steadily over the past 12 hours, an official at Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has said, according to the Reuters news agency. A level of 752 microsieverts per hour was recorded at the plant's main gate at 1700 on Wednesday (0800 GMT), said Tetsuo Ohmura. The monitoring point was then changed to the plant's west gate and readings were taken every 30 minutes, he said. At 0500 on Thursday (2000 GMT on Wednesday), the reading was 338 microsieverts per hour. That level is still much higher than it should be, but is not dangerous, Mr Ohmura added.

2323: John in Nerimaku, Tokyo writes: "We go to bed not knowing what the morning will bring. We wake up hoping that nothing more serious is happening at the nuclear plant. This stress is beginning to affect everyone - my children too." Have Your Say

2332: The Guardian reports that Greg Jaczko, the chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was pressed on his assertion in Congress earlier that there was no water remaining in reactor 4's spent fuel storage pool, which was subsequently denied by Japanese officials. He told reporters: "The information I have is coming from staff people in Tokyo who are interfacing with their Japanese counterparts. I've confirmed that their information is reliable." Mr Jaczko nevertheless added: "It is my great hope that the information is not accurate."

2336: Kuni Yogo, a former nuclear power planner at Japan's Science and Technology Agency tells the New York Times that the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the troubled nuclear plant, "try to disclose only what they think is necessary, while the media, which has an anti-nuclear tendency, acts hysterically, which leads the government and Tepco to not offer more information".

2340: Jeffrey in Kawanehon, Japan writes: "It's amazing how foreign governments are inflaming fears in order to score political brownie points. It's also amazing how many fair-weather friends Japan has in the current expat community. Japan has been good to me and I'm staying to help." Have Your Say

3/16/2011 . Edited 3/16/2011 #90
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