WHO preparing advisory statement on Japanese nuclear crisis

The Health Ministry is considering possible action in the event of a reactor explosion in a Japanese nuclear power plant damaged by the recent earthquake and resultant tsunami.

Permanent Secretary at the Maldivian Health Ministry Geela Ali told Haveeru that the World Health Organisation (WHO) was preparing to issue an advisory statement on the potential risks and preventative measures in the event of radioactive fallout. Radioactive particles released in an explosion can potentially travel hundreds of miles.

Japanese authorities have evaculated residents within 20 kilometres of the Fukushima power plant, and ordered those within 30 kilometres to remain indoors and seal doors and windows. Authorities have also implemented a no-fly zone in a 30 kilometre radius.

The US Seventh Fleet has meanwhile moved its ships away from Japan despite already being 100 miles offshore, after the USS Ronald Reagan detected that its crew had been exposed to radiation equivalent to one month of normal background radiation.

Radiation levels around the plant are rising and authorities have ordered all but 50 staff to leave the plant. Three hydrogen explosions over the last four days have increased the risk of nuclear fuel becoming exposed to air, however the Tokyo Electric Company has been using seawater to cool the four damaged reactors.

“This is not a serious public health issue at the moment,” Secretary of the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, Malcolm Crick, told news agency Reuters.

“It won’t be anything like Chernobyl. There the reactor was operating at full power when it exploded and it had no containment.”

That such a leak could happen in Japan, with the country’s high construction standards and rigourous attention to protocol for its nuclear industry, has prompted a number of countries to review their use of nuclear power, which has been touted as a proven alternative to fossil fuels for large-scale power generation.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a review of the country’s 20 reactors, most of which are located along the coastline, while the Swiss government suspended all plans to replace and build nuclear reactors. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said ambitious plans to build dozens of nuclear power stations would continue.

So far Japan has confirmed 2,414 people dead in the tsunami disaster and 3,118 missing, while the final toll is expected to reach 10,000.


10 thoughts on “WHO preparing advisory statement on Japanese nuclear crisis”

  1. There are Maldivian students and families including children living in Japan. What is the government doing to protect these Maldivians. President Nasheed seems more interested in traveling and making a name in the international community, like by calling for the protection of Libyans than care about Maldivians.

  2. Japan isn't a third world country

    Rinzy why don't you fly over there to protect them.

  3. @Mithra - Japan may not be a 3rd world country but entire villages have been washed away just like in a third world country; radiation level is building up uncontrolled, an american navel vessel detected radiation some 160km off the coast of Japan; many companies are evacuating staff from even as far south as Tokyo to safer places; countries such as China have started evacuating their nationals.. But I guess the President's priority is making a name for himself in the hope of an award..

  4. @ rinzy,
    So you mean President Nasheed should go to Japan and protect 30 or so Maldivian people? with what? a big umbrella? Wake up!!! Its the Japanese people who are living in Fukushima we should be worried about. its thousands of people whose lives are devastated by the tsunami we should be thinking about. Its the thousands that are missing and are dead we should be praying for. And what are yo thinking about rinzy? President Nasheed?

  5. @dhon kamana - please don't try to assume or guess what I mean,think or feel, as you surely won't know any of these. Don't be stupid questioning whether Nasheed should go to Japan to protect Maldivians. Did he go to Libya to fight gaddafi? No. Did he go to Egypt to oust Mubarak? No. His priority is clear when he issues press releases on Libya and ignores Maldivian students stuck in an area where their lives are in danger. I voted for him hoping that his priority would be Maldivians and that he would not dump Maldivians in danger on the head of a foreign government especially at a time when they are struggling to protect their own citizens.

  6. Nuclear radiation is the least of worries when 90 percent of the population is hooked on a diet of Heeraapannaa, Redbull and Malboro. The rest on hard drugs.

  7. @ rinzy

    How do you know that President Nasheed is ignoring the Maldivian nationals in Japan? We have a very capable foreign ministry that has been looking into the safety of Maldivian nationals since the devastating earthquake in Japan.

    This is an on-going process. Presient Nasheed does not have to on TV and radio making announcements about 30 or so Maldivians in Japan! Actions speak louder than words... Meanwhile, you seem to be doing a lot talking...

  8. Interesting on how Maldivian react to health problems elsewhere, but not at home.

  9. Rinzy, all I have to say is, stop talking. Seriously.

    Nasheed does not have to personally visit Japan and take the family's back to Maldives on a private jet. Nor does he have to announce all his plans on National television every 15 minutes. We have an ambassador in Japan, and I am thinking that just like Suvadheeb said, the foreign ministry will be taking care of all that matters. If they need to be evacuated, they will be. The Japanese government, nor the Maldivian government, will leave those families while everybody else is taken to safe areas.

    This happens when the basis of your idea happens to be that Nasheed doesn't care about the rest of the country, but himself, even if it means the lives of other Maldivians.

  10. hehehe. so political. all these comments are either in favour of govt or anti-govt. try to discuss on real matter.


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