WAS900_JAPAN-QUAKE-_0315_11.JPG
The Fukushima nuclear plant seen after the devastating quake that struck Japan.

Radiation levels after Japan quake now 'harmful to human health'



Radiation levels near a quake-hit nuclear plant are now harmful to human health, Japan’s government said after two explosions and a fire at the crippled facility Tuesday.

The crisis at the Fukushima No.1 plant, local 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, has now spread to four out of its six reactors following Friday's quake and tsunami which knocked out cooling systems.

“There is no doubt that unlike in the past, the figures are the level at which human health can be affected,” said chief government spokesman Yukio Edano.

Tens of thousands have already been evacuated from a zone within a radius of 20 km from the ageing plant, but Prime Minister Naoto Kan urged people living within 10 km of the exclusion zone to stay indoors.

Early Tuesday a blast hit the number-two reactor there. And Edano later said there was also an explosion which started a fire at the number-four reactor.

Although the number-four was shut for maintenance when the quake and tsunami struck last Friday, “spent nuclear fuel in the reactor heated up, creating hydrogen and triggered a hydrogen explosion”.

He said radioactive substances were leaked along with the hydrogen.

“Please keep in mind that what is burning is not nuclear fuel itself,” Edano said. “We’ll do our best to put out or control the fire as soon as possible.”

Media reports said the fire was apparently extinguished later in the morning. The plant operator could not immediately be reached for confirmation.

Similar hydrogen blasts had hit the number-one and number-three reactors on Saturday and Monday.

Edano said radiation levels as of 10.22 am (0122 GMT) were 30 millisieverts between the number-two and the number-three reactors, 400 millisieverts near number-three and 100 millisieverts near number-four.

A single dose of 1,000 millisieverts -- or one sievert -- causes temporary radiation sickness such as nausea and vomiting. A dose of 5,000 millisieverts would kill about half those receiving it within a month.

Edano said radioactive substances might spread outside the 20-30 km area but would dissipate the farther they spread.

It was still unclear whether the container sealing the number-two reactor had been breached.

The plant operator initially told the nuclear safety agency that it had not been holed, but later told AFP it was still checking for any breach.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Tokyo had asked for expert assistance in the wake of the disaster caused by a quake now measured at 9.0-magnitude.

Officials have struggled to prevent meltdowns at the damaged reactors, saying fuel rods may have been critically damaged by overheating.

A meltdown occurs when fuel rods melt at extremely high temperature, creating the potential for an explosion that breaches the reactor and spews large amounts radioactive material into the air.

But authorities have not reported the kind of radiation leakage that would accompany a major meltdown.

The continuing nuclear crisis has unnerved regional residents already struggling with the aftermath of the quake and tsunami.

“There are very few people out in the streets”, said Mako Sato, a cafe waitress in the town of Miharumachi just outside the evacuation zone. “They are either staying at home or in the evacuation centres.

“Since conditions surrounding the nuclear plant are so uncertain, I am worried. Food supplies are low and all that customers talk about is the quake and how scary it is, because we still feel aftershocks.”

An employee at the Hotel Chisun in Koriyama said there were no visible signs of panic despite the nuclear crisis.

“Everyone is reacting calmly. But due to safety concerns after the quake we aren’t accepting new business,” the employee said. “

“There is very little food and convenience stores nearby are all closed. We are doing the best we can with our reserves.”

Milestones on the road to union

1970

October 26: Bahrain withdraws from a proposal to create a federation of nine with the seven Trucial States and Qatar. 

December: Ahmed Al Suwaidi visits New York to discuss potential UN membership.

1971

March 1:  Alex Douglas Hume, Conservative foreign secretary confirms that Britain will leave the Gulf and “strongly supports” the creation of a Union of Arab Emirates.

July 12: Historic meeting at which Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid make a binding agreement to create what will become the UAE.

July 18: It is announced that the UAE will be formed from six emirates, with a proposed constitution signed. RAK is not yet part of the agreement.

August 6:  The fifth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed becoming Ruler of Abu Dhabi, with official celebrations deferred until later in the year.

August 15: Bahrain becomes independent.

September 3: Qatar becomes independent.

November 23-25: Meeting with Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and senior British officials to fix December 2 as date of creation of the UAE.

November 29:  At 5.30pm Iranian forces seize the Greater and Lesser Tunbs by force.

November 30: Despite  a power sharing agreement, Tehran takes full control of Abu Musa. 

November 31: UK officials visit all six participating Emirates to formally end the Trucial States treaties

December 2: 11am, Dubai. New Supreme Council formally elects Sheikh Zayed as President. Treaty of Friendship signed with the UK. 11.30am. Flag raising ceremony at Union House and Al Manhal Palace in Abu Dhabi witnessed by Sheikh Khalifa, then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

December 6: Arab League formally admits the UAE. The first British Ambassador presents his credentials to Sheikh Zayed.

December 9: UAE joins the United Nations.

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

The bio

Favourite food: Japanese

Favourite car: Lamborghini

Favourite hobby: Football

Favourite quote: If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough

Favourite country: UAE

The biog

Occupation: Key marker and auto electrician

Hometown: Ghazala, Syria

Date of arrival in Abu Dhabi: May 15, 1978

Family: 11 siblings, a wife, three sons and one daughter

Favourite place in UAE: Abu Dhabi

Favourite hobby: I like to do a mix of things, like listening to poetry for example.

Favourite Syrian artist: Sabah Fakhri, a tenor from Aleppo

Favourite food: fresh fish

RESULTS

5pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Racing Festival – Handicap (PA) Dh100,000 (Turf) 2,200m
Winner: Suny Du Loup, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Hamad Al Marar (trainer)
5.30pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Racing Festival Cup – Conditions (PA) Dh150,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: Nadia Du Loup, Antonio Fresu, Sulaiman Al Ghunaimi
6pm: Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup – Conditions (PA) Dh150,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: Dareen, Dane O’Neill, Jean de Roualle
6.30pm: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup – Group 3 (PA) Dh500,000
Winner: AF Alwajel, Pat Dobbs, Ernst Oertel
7.15pm: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown – Group 1 (PA) Dh5,000,000 (T) 2,200m
Winner: First Classs, Ronan Thomas, Jean De Mieulle
8pm: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup – Listed (TB) Dh380,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: San Donato, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson
8.30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: AF Rasam, Fernando Jara, Ernst Oertel

Teaching your child to save

Pre-school (three - five years)

You can’t yet talk about investing or borrowing, but introduce a “classic” money bank and start putting gifts and allowances away. When the child wants a specific toy, have them save for it and help them track their progress.

Early childhood (six - eight years)

Replace the money bank with three jars labelled ‘saving’, ‘spending’ and ‘sharing’. Have the child divide their allowance into the three jars each week and explain their choices in splitting their pocket money. A guide could be 25 per cent saving, 50 per cent spending, 25 per cent for charity and gift-giving.

Middle childhood (nine - 11 years)

Open a bank savings account and help your child establish a budget and set a savings goal. Introduce the notion of ‘paying yourself first’ by putting away savings as soon as your allowance is paid.

Young teens (12 - 14 years)

Change your child’s allowance from weekly to monthly and help them pinpoint long-range goals such as a trip, so they can start longer-term saving and find new ways to increase their saving.

Teenage (15 - 18 years)

Discuss mutual expectations about university costs and identify what they can help fund and set goals. Don’t pay for everything, so they can experience the pride of contributing.

Young adulthood (19 - 22 years)

Discuss post-graduation plans and future life goals, quantify expenses such as first apartment, work wardrobe, holidays and help them continue to save towards these goals.

* JP Morgan Private Bank 

Results

2-15pm: Commercial Bank Of Dubai – Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (Dirt) 1,400m; Winner: Al Habash, Patrick Cosgrave (jockey), Bhupat Seemar (trainer)

2.45pm: Al Shafar Investment – Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: Day Approach, Ray Dawson, Ahmad bin Harmash

3.15pm: Dubai Real estate Centre – Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Celtic Prince, Richard Mullen, Rashed Bouresly

3.45pm: Jebel Ali Sprint by ARM Holding – Listed (TB) Dh500,000 (D) 1,000m; Winner: Khuzaam, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson

4.15pm: Shadwell – Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Tenbury Wells, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer

4.45pm: Jebel Ali Stakes by ARM Holding – Listed (TB) Dh500,000 (D) 1,950m; Winner: Lost Eden, Andrea Atzeni, Doug Watson

5.15pm: Jebel Ali Racecourse – Handicap (TB) Dh76,000 (D) 1,950m; Winner: Rougher, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson


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