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Japan Faces Possible Nuclear Meltdown Following Devastating Earthquake

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As if an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami wasn't enough for Japan, they are now facing a possible nuclear meltdown at a nuclear plant in Fukushima.

According to Reuters, Japanese officials may only have hours to cool reactors that have been disabled by Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami or face a nuclear meltdown.

The Kyodo news agency stated that the cooling system has failed at three reactors at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Furthermore, the coolant water's temperature has reached boiling level.

Radiation levels inside the Fukushima facility are said to be 1,000 times their normal levels. The cooling system failure at the No. 2 power plant came after officials were already unsettled by the failure of an emergency cooling system at the No. 1 plant. Officials now fear a nuclear meltdown is possible.

The 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami occured at roughly 2:30 P.M. local time in Japan.

At this time Japanese authorities are venting radioactive steam into the air to relieve pressure inside the reactors. A nuclear emergency has been declared and officials now have a 12-to-24 hour window to work with according to Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington.

Thousands have been ordered to evacuate following the nuclear emergency declaration.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

For more breaking stories on Philly2Philly.com, check out the story on Cliff Lee and if he is really what the Phillies needed

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