Japanese engineers have succeeded in turning the cooling pumps back on at the Fukushima nuclear plant, although the government has now said that once the crisis is over, the plant will be closed down for good.
Across the country, consumers are concerned about radiation levels in food. Tests have shown increased levels of radioactive iodine in milk and spinach and there are concerns that other products could also be affected. In Taiwan radioactive traces have been detected in beans from Japan, although the authorities say the levels are within safety guidelines.
Refugees from areas affected by nuclear leaks are being tested for radiation amidst wide-spread distrust of government announcements.
Osamu Takezawa, a refugee:
“The Japanese government says a 30km radius, but in reality I think it should be at last 40kms. Frankly, I don’t trust what the government says. Normally in this kind of situation, I would assume the radius should be wider, so people are saying “Well, if the government says 40kms, we think it should be 50kms. If they say it’s 50kms, we think it should be 60kms.” People think we should also add some extra distance to what the government says. It could be dangerous. That’s why I came all this way.”
Airports across Asia have started checking passengers for radiation – in Jakarta, they are using Geiger counters on all new arrivals from Japan.