Pictures appear to confirm the worst – that deadly spent fuel rods were exposed to blasts
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
UPDATE: It is important to stress that 40 years’ worth of deadly spent fuel rods that would have been blown sky high by the blasts were stored in the roof of the facilities you see devastated in these images. See our article  for more on this urgent aspect of the story.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company has released new images that show the devastated nuclear reactors at the stricken Fukushima plant, as authorities confirm that a second reactor containment vessel has been damaged, leading to yet more deadly radiation being released into the atmosphere.
Following news that a containment vessel at reactor number 2 had cracked, it was later confirmed that reactor number 3 had ruptured and was releasing radioactive smoke.
“Top government spokesman Yukio Edano told a press conference in the morning that smoke has been recognized from about 8:30 a.m. around the No.3 reactor and said, ”As we saw in the No. 2 unit, steam has been released from the (No. 3) reactor’s containment vessel,” reports Kyodo News .
A fire in the plant’s number 4 reactor, where massive numbers of highly radioactive spent fuel rods are stored, was likely caused by the water that is in place to cool the rods boiling and exposing them to open air. As we have documented , the threat posed by the spent fuel rods burning and releasing radioactivity is even greater than the active fuel rods.
The Fukushima Daiichi plant has seven pools dedicated to spent fuel rods. These are located at the top of six reactor buildings – or were until explosions and fires ravaged the plant. On the ground level there is a common pool in a separate building that was critically damaged by the tsunami. Each reactor building pool holds 3,450 fuel rod assemblies and the common pool holds 6,291 fuel rod assemblies. Each assembly holds sixty-three fuel rods. In short, the Fukushima Daiichi plant contains over 600,000 spent fuel rods – a massive amount of radiation that will soon be released into the atmosphere.
Images released by the Tokyo Electric Power Company appear to confirm the worst – that the spent fuel rods stored near the roof of the facility were impacted by the blasts.
Reactor no. 3 is completely devastated.
Another shot of reactor no. 4.
Radiation levels in Tokyo have not increased, but that’s probably only because strong winds are blowing the radiation out into the Pacific Ocean. The fact that the prevailing jet stream is heading towards the U.S. west coast has prompted a run on potassium iodide pills, with U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin contradicting assurances  from government officials by encouraging Americans to obtain potassium iodide as a precaution.
That’s easier said than done given the fact that manufacturers are telling retailers that there won’t be any more available until the end of April or even May after existing supplies were bought up as early as Saturday.
In addition, it appears that the government has enforced a blockade on potassium iodide. A caller to the Alex Jones Show yesterday related  how U.S. health authorities could be blocking Americans from obtaining the radiation-fighting drug, after his doctor refused to prescribe the drug following a “conversation” with the CDC.
Despite surging demand, the U.S. government only has enough potassium iodide in reserve to cover populations living within 10 miles of nuclear reactors, leaving hundreds of millions of Americans exposed to potential radiation clouds without protection should the winds carry any radioactivity across the Pacific.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com . He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.