Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan gave no indication as to when he thought the nuclear crisis might be brought under control.
In fact, he warned that the situation at Fukushima ‘still does not warrant optimism.”
The current situation is still very unpredictable. We're working to stop the situation from worsening. We need to continue to be extremely vigilant, Kan said.
Meanwhile, Japanese nuclear officials have warned that they believe that fuel rods in the No. 3 reactor at the quake-damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant may be damaged, based on the very high levels of radiation in the water which injured three workers the prior day.
Hidehiko Nishiyama, of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, told a news conference Friday morning:
it is highly likely that some fuel rods have been damaged and that radioactive materials somehow seeped into the water,.
The radiation level of the water was 3.9 million becquerels per cubic centimeter (or 10,000 times higher than normal) according to Nishiyama.
On Thursday, three emergency workers were setting up electric power cabled in the flooded basement of the No. 3 reactor building when their legs became soaked in water contaminated by radioactive substances.
According to the plant’s operator, Tokyo Power Electric Co. (TEPCO), two of the workers were sent to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba after direct exposure to beta rays damaged their legs.