NPR logo

Japan Extends Evacuation Zone Near Power Plant

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/134862141/134862929" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Japan Extends Evacuation Zone Near Power Plant

Japan Extends Evacuation Zone Near Power Plant

Japan Extends Evacuation Zone Near Power Plant

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/134862141/134862929" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Japanese officials expand the evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant to get the last of the isolated residents out of the region. Officials are also trying to figure out the source of radioactive water that burned several workers in the basement of a building next to reactor No. 3. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Jon Hamilton for more.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

And, Jon, tell us more about this concern with the radioactive water.

JON HAMILTON: But ever since then, people have been trying to figure out how that radioactive water got there. One possibility - and that's because it's only one - is that the core of the reactor was actually cracked or breached, and that allowed radioactive water to get out. That would be bad because you really can't fix a breach in the core. But it's also possible that this is just some kind of plumbing problem. There are pipes that carry water in and out of the core. Some of them go into the turbine building. So a leaky pipe, there could be the reason that the basement is flooded with radioactive water. It's just not clear. What is clear is that there are still problems at the Fukushima plant.

BLOCK: And those problems also have lots of implications, of course, for the emergency workers at that plant.

HAMILTON: And right now, officials are saying that there are about 700 workers at the plant. That's important, because any time there's a release of radiation with that many workers around, it's likely that some of those workers are going to be in a place where, you know, they could be exposed.

BLOCK: We mentioned, Jon, that the Japanese government has now expanded the evacuation zone around the plant. Is that connected with the radioactive water we've been talking about?

HAMILTON: Now, they're advising those people to leave. But, so far, they're not forcing anyone to leave.

BLOCK: And for the people who are still living in that area near the Fukushima plant, what are you hearing about conditions for them?

HAMILTON: Yesterday, there was video showing people huddled around fires they built in garbage cans, and they were just trying to stay warm.

BLOCK: OK, Jon, thanks very much.

HAMILTON: You're welcome.

BLOCK: That's NPR's Jon Hamilton reporting from Tokyo.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.