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» March 15, 2011
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Workers Strain to Retake Control After Blast and Fire at Japan Plant

Hiroko Tabuchi, David E. Sanger, and Keith Bradsher | The New York Times

Chasma Reactor

Japanese officials and safety workers struggled to reassert control over badly damaged nuclear reactors and avert calamity on Tuesday, after the situation at the stricken Fukushima plant appeared to verge towards catastrophe. Radiationn levels shot up at the plant after a new explosion and fire.

Though the situation remained dangerous, there were signs that workers had, at least for the moment, contained some of the danger: The escalated radiation levels of earlier in the day - possibly from a fire in the No. 4 reactor - stabilized and then declined towards evening, according to Japanese authorities.

For insight on the extent of the Japanese crisis see an interview with Carnegie's Mark Hibbs that clarifies the magnitude of the threat the Fukushima Daiichi reactors pose. Carnegie's James Acton explains the course of the crisis and describes Japanese efforts to cool the reactor core.  Full Article

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More from Proliferation News

Jia Lynn Yang | The Washington Post
Since General Electric supplied the design four decades ago for all six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in northeastern Japan, some regulators and critics have questioned whether the system - which was supposed to be smaller and less expensive than others - can withstand a nightmare scenario.     Full Article

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Jared A. Favole and Tennille Tracy | The Wall Street Journal

Obama administration officials Monday brushed aside calls for a freeze on new U.S. nuclear power development, and sought to reassure the public the nation's nuclear facilities are safe and the threat of harmful radiation reaching U.S. soil from Japan is minimal. Meanwhile, the U.S. was sending more technical experts to Japan to get more information about the damaged nuclear reactors there as Japanese crews scrambled to prevent meltdowns at the facilities.     Full Article

Huma Yusuf | Dawn
One thing causes anxiety above all else in Islamabad and Washington: our nuclear programme. We think the US is plotting to seize our weapons; they fear the weapons will fall into the wrong hands. However, circumstances are more complicated than that.     Full Article

Walter Pincus | The Washington Post
The horrific earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last week lead me to this question: Is it not time to talk realistically about the $200 billion or more we plan to spend over the next decade on strategic nuclear weapons and their land- and sea-based delivery systems?     Full Article

BBC News
North Korea has told Russia's deputy foreign minister Alexei Borodavkin that it is ready to discuss its nuclear enrichment plans at six-party talks. The issue is one of several that have blocked the resumption of disarmament talks. South Korea also wants an apology for the North's "aggression."     Full Article

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Produced twice weekly, Proliferation News provides a free summary of news and analysis on efforts to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons. Visit the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program website for further information and resources. Please send your comments and suggestions to the editor at

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