In Japan, attention is focusing in two places: First, search and rescue operations and the massive recovery ahead in the large sections of the northeastern coast devastated by Friday’s earthquake and tsunamis. The other increasingly critical concern: the condition of damaged nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture.

Saturday afternoon, an explosion was seen at the No. 1 Reactor of Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The links:

Yomiuri includes this ominous description of the incident:

An explosion was heard from the No. 1 plant at about 3:36 p.m. [10:36 p.m. Friday night PST] and white smoke was witnessed about 10 minutes later, Tokyo Electric Power Co officials said, adding that four workers were injured. However, the cause of the blast remained unknown.

TV footage showed that the No. 1 reactor appeared to have been destroyed, with its outer walls seemingly collapsed.

Click the image below for video from Nippon TV’s News 24 service, which shows the blast.

Author

Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage and specializing in topics ranging from California water issues and the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several web startups. Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. Dan has shared in two SPJ Norcal "Excellence in Journalism" awards at KQED: in 2012, for reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California; and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the South Napa Earthquake. In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree. Email Dan at: dbrekke@kqed.org Twitter: twitter.com/danbrekke Facebook: www.facebook.com/danbrekke LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/danbrekke

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor