JAPAN RAISES NUCLEAR CRISIS LEVEL MAY REQUIRE CHERNOBYL ENCASEMENT SOLUTION

The Japanese authorities have upgraded the severity of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant and have mentioned the possibility that they may have to encase the plant in concrete to prevent further radiation release, just as was done in Chernobyl. This would mean that the region around the plants would be unlivable or usable for decades or more. Japan increased the crisis level to 5 from 4 on the International Nuclear Event Scale. Engineers are still trying to restart water pumps to cool the temperatures in the core and control the radiation leak. The plant is located about 160 miles from Tokyo, which has experienced some fallout. South Korea announced that it would send some of its reserves of boron to Japan, about 52.6 tons. Boron is placed around the control rods to slow the fission reactions within nuclear reactors. In addition, France is shipping today 95 tons of boron to Japan. Boron absorbs neutrons in powder or liquid form. This afternoonTokyo Electric Power Co announced that it connected an external transmission line with the Daiichi plant and electricity can now be supplied to power the water pumps. It is not clear whether the containment walls are so damaged that they may leak the water. Meanwhile, the U.S. military is flying a Global hawk spy drone over the nuclear reactors at Fukushima. The radar system aboard that drone can read down into the ground and also has a computer processing system which can read the radar and create high resolution imagry, as if taking a detailed MRI of the plants. Global Hawks also have a sophisticated infra red imaging system which can create detailed images of the reactor containment vessels in order to determine whether they are leaking.