Inside Story
Japan: Mixed messages
The government insists the country's nuclear crisis has been contained but conflicting reports are emerging.
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2011 15:48

The authorities are still battling to contain the nuclear events in Fukushima Prefecture that came in the wake of the country's largest recorded earthquake.

There are conflicting accounts of the radiation levels being measured in the vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi plant - where sea water is being injected into at least two of the reactors in an attempt to prevent the nuclear fuel from melting as the temperature continues to rise. 

There was an explosion at the plant's number one reactor on Saturday - but the government says the massive concrete containment structure surrounding the nuclear core remains intact.

But it has also been confirmed that the temperature is continuing to rise in at least one of the other reactors due to a failure of the back-up cooling systems. 
What does this mean? As some 200,000 people are evacuated from the area, is Japan facing a nuclear disaster?

Inside Story, with presenter Mike Hanna, discusses with guests: Kamal Matinuddin, a nuclear and security expert, who is also the author of The Nuclearization of South Asia; Robert Kelley, a licensed nuclear engineer, who worked at the US department of energy under the radiological emergency response unit; and Ilham al-Qaradawi, a professor of physics at Qatar University.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, March 13, 2011.

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