Turns out “The China Syndrome” is actually Japanese

Japanese authorities are racing to contain the worst leak of contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant since its reactors were destroyed and melted down in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The country’s nuclear watchdog this week raised the alert level at the crippled facility to the highest level seen since the recovery from the disaster began. The move came after the company that operated the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (or TEPCO), said that about 79,000 gallons of highly radioactive water, used to cool the reactor cores, had leaked from hastily built storage tanks.

“This is what we have been fearing,” Shunichi Tanaka, chair of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, told The Wall Street Journal. “We cannot waste even a minute.”

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Japan’s Atomic Samurai

The Fukushima 50, who actually are a group of about 300 people who have been working in shifts of 50, have become heroes in Japan and are known as atomic “samurai.”

Speaking to Fox News by phone via an interpreter, the mother of a 32-year-old worker said her son had told her they must have been exposed to lethal doses of radiation.

“My son and his colleagues have discussed it at length and they have committed themselves to die if necessary to save the nation,” she said. Fox News said she was tearful as she spoke.

“He told me they have accepted they will all probably die from radiation sickness in the short term or cancer in the long-term,” she added.

“They have concluded between themselves that it is inevitable some of them may die within weeks or months. They know it is impossible for them not to have been exposed to lethal doses of radiation,” she said.

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Japan Nuclear Reactor May Be in Meltdown

By YUKA HAYASHI and REBECCA SMITH

Japanese nuclear authorities said Saturday afternoon that a nuclear reactor about 150 miles north of Tokyo may be experiencing a meltdown after Friday’s massive earthquake damaged its cooling systems.

Authorities said they were pouring water into the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuclear reactor to stop the meltdown.

Earlier, radiation leaked out of one of the nation’s nuclear-power plants early Saturday morning after Friday’s earthquake caused a power outage that disabled its cooling system, and new problems were reported at another plant nearby.

The utility also said Saturday that the fuel rods could be suffering damage, a scenario that could raise the chances of unplanned radioactive releases.

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