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Japan earthquake: International Atomic Energy Agency uses YouTube, Facebook to issue updates on nuclear plants [Video]

March 13, 2011 |  4:03 pm

The United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency is using Facebook and YouTube to issue updates on the situation at nuclear plants damaged in Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

Since Saturday, the IAEA has been posting updates in the form of both status messages and notes on the efforts to avert a nuclear crisis.

IAEAfbook The IAEA is also posting videos from Yukiya Amano, it's general director, on YouTube and then cross posting those videos to its Facebook page.

The most recent video message from Amano (which can be seen above) addresses the IAEA's response to the move of pumping ocean water to prevent a meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear plant, about 140 miles north of Tokyo.

That reactor, the second to have problems in the Fukushima plant, was overheating after its backup cooling system failed due to damage from the earthquake and tsunami.

In its most recent Facebook note update, the IAEA addressed possible problems at another location — the Onagawa nuclear plant:

The Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that radioactivity levels at the site boundary of the Onagawa nuclear power plant have returned down to normal background levels. The first (ie lowest) state of emergency was reported at the plant earlier on Sunday after an increased level of radioactivity was detected at the site boundary. Investigations at the site indicate that no emissions of radioactivity have occurred from any of the three units at Onagawa. The current assumption of the Japanese authorities is that the increased level may have been due to a release of radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.

So far, more than more than 10,000 are believed to have died in the natural disasters and more than 500,000 people have been evacuated in areas near Japanese nuclear plants and other locations affected by the devastation.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

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