Developments in Japan's disasters, nuclear crisis

AP News
Posted: Mar 30, 2011 12:39 PM
Developments in Japan's disasters, nuclear crisis

_ NEW HIGH IN OCEAN RADIATION LEVELS. Nuclear safety officials say waters 300 yards (meters) from the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant contain 3,355 times the legal limit for the amount of radioactive iodine _ the highest rate yet. The amount of iodine-131 found south of the plant does not pose an immediate threat to human health but is concerning, officials say.

_ EMPEROR VISITS EVACUEES. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko console some of the thousands displaced by the twin disasters, spending about an hour at a Tokyo center. The respected royal couple typically visits disaster victims and made a trip to the site of the Kobe earthquake in 1995.

_ UTILITY COMPANY PRESIDENT HOSPITALIZED. Tokyo Electric Power Co., which runs the plant, announces that President Masataka Shimizu was admitted to a hospital late Tuesday after suffering dizziness and high blood pressure. The 66-year-old has not been seen in public since a March 13 news conference in Tokyo, raising speculation that he had suffered a breakdown.

_ SAFETY REVIEW ORDERED. Amid criticism that safeguards were lax at the Fukushima plant, the nuclear agency orders plant operators nationwide to review their emergency procedures. The agency tells utilities they must have on hand mobile backup generators and fire engines, which have been used at Fukushima to cool the reactors.

_ DEATH TOLL. The National Police Agency says 11,362 people have died in the disasters. Another 16,290 are missing.