Japanese Residents Take Safety into Own Hands

By: CBS
By: CBS

Japan is considering dumping boric acid, a fire retardant, from helicopters over its troubled nuclear plant as the threat of radiation hangs in the air. Now some are taking safety into their own hands and leaving after getting mixed messages from their government.

Another crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant – a second fire in reactor four. It lasted only about half an hour but signifies Japan’s ongoing and unpredictable nuclear troubles.

Radiation levels have fallen since Tuesday’s explosion and fire, but officials are concerned about possible core damage in the number two reactor.

”Is it a crack, is it a hole or is it nothing? That we don't know yet,” said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Residents and even nuclear experts are frustrated with the government’s communication.

“I'm not being told what to do by any authority figure whatsoever,” said Mark Carney, an American living in Fukushima City.

“We have not been getting reliable dose estimates out of the Japanese government,” said CBS News Nuclear Safety Consultant Cham Dallas.

Some people aren’t taking chances. They’re boarding flights out of Tokyo’s Airports.

"We are going to take precautionary measures and get a little bit further away," said Stephen Ling.

We're in Takasaki, 150 miles from the plant. People are going to work and school, but it's impossible to know what risks they may face.

This man took his family and fled the danger zone to escape potential exposure.

“I'm very, very scared,” he said. “I have small children. The damage may already be done."

For people in the quake zone, it’s utter destruction. The death toll is more than 3,600 and thousands are still missing.

“It's an appalling situation,” said Patrick Fuller, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent. “It's as bad as anything I have seen."

And the need for humanitarian aid is becoming greater each day.

Japans' Nuclear Safety Agency said 70 percent of the nuclear fuel rods may have been damaged at another reactor.


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