12 March 2011, 16:52
According to the Fukushima office of Tokyo Electric Power, a sound of explosion was heard at Unit 1 of the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant around 3:30 PM. A plume of smoke was seen ten minutes later. Several workers have been reportedly injured.
The Fukushima office says that the smoke appeared to arise between the reactor building and the turbine building. However, it has been unable to confirm its exact location. The number of the injured, the degree of their injuries, any change in the measurement of radioactivity outdoors, whether or not the reactor container has been damaged are all unknown. The water level of the reactor has not shown any abnormal decrease. Two Tokyo Electric Power workers, and two employees of the company’s collaborator, appear to have been taken to hospital.
High Level of Radioactivity Confirmed at Fukushima 1 Immediately before Explosion
12 March 2011, 18:05 PM
According to Tokyo Electric Power, a high level of radioactivity — 1015 microsievert/h at 3:29 PM, 569 microsievert/h at 3:31 PM — was confirmed on 12 March 2011 near Unit 1 of the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant. On the same day around 3:36 PM, Tokyo Electric Power reports, a sound of explosion was heard and a huge tremor was experienced.
The original article “福島第一原発１号機から爆発音 煙を確認、社員負傷” was published in the Asahi Shimbun Web site. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com). Cf. Nuclear Information and Resource Service, “Fact Sheet on Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant” (11 March 2011); Union of Concerned Scientists, “Nuclear Crisis in Japan: What We Know” (11 March 2011); NHK, “Fukushima 1: Fuel Rods Exposed” (11 March 2011); NHK, “Fukushima 1: Fuel Meltdown Begins” (12 March 2011).