STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — AccuWeather reports officials have shut down a nuclear power plant in earthquake-ravaged north-central Japan. Winds could help protect nearby residents in the event of a radiation leak.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is currently not leaking radiation, but the threat of a leak has prompted officials to evacuate nearly 3,000 people within the surrounding 2 miles.
The power plant is located in Onahama city, which is about 170 miles northeast of Tokyo.
The fear of a leak stems from the fact that a power outage and failed backup generator are inhibiting the reactor’s cooling system from working properly, according to the Associated Press.
Radiation could leak out if the power outage continues and the reactor core stays hot. A reactor meltdown would be a worst-case scenario.
In the event of a leak Friday night, local time (through this evening EST), winds flowing from the northwest to west may help guide most of the radiation offshore.
Winds will remain offshore Saturday, local time, despite turning more to the southwest.
The danger of a possible leak has also prompted officials to declare a state of emergency at the power plant, the first of its kind in Japan.
By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com