06-06-2020  10:56 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Thousands March Peacefully for 7th Night in Portland

NBA Portland Trail Blazer star Damian Lillard walked at the front of the crowd arm-in-arm with young demonstrators

Districts Jettison School Police Officers Amid Protests

Mayor Ted Wheeler: “Leaders must listen and respond to community. We must disrupt the patterns of racism and injustice.”

Two De La Salle North Grads Forge Thrilling Paths

A med student and a Fulbright scholar reflect on their time at the school.

OHSU Resident Uses TikTok, Student Outreach, to Show Representation in Medicine

A group of high school students weighing careers in health care were recently greeted on Google Meet by a physician whose social media star is on the rise.

NEWS BRIEFS

Resources for Supporting Racial Justice in Oregon

Learn about how to get involved with local organizations that have been fighting for decades for racial justice. ...

Business Donates Profits

On Sunday, June 7, the owners of Pine State Biscuits are donating all of their profits to the NAACP and ACLU from all five of their...

NAMC-Oregon Statement on Racism, Inequity & Violence Against Black People

All of us at NAMC-Oregon are angered and deeply saddened by the police murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the...

Civil Rights and Social Justice Organizations Call for a National Day of Mourning Today

At 12:45 p.m. PT today, the NAACP is asking for everyone to take a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. ...

ACLU Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Minneapolis Police for Attacking Journalists at Protests

The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, Jared Goyette, a journalist covering the demonstrations, was shot in the face with a rubber bullet ...

The Latest: Statue of Gen. Wickham toppled in Richmond

TOP OF THE HOUR:— Statue of Confederate Gen. Wickham toppled in Richmond, Virginia— Police use flash bang devices, pepper spray to disperse Seattle protesters— Mayor of Portland, Oregon, orders police not to use CS gas except as last resort___RICHMOND, Va. — In the...

Oregon city joins others in curbing tear gas, police tactics

SEATTLE (AP) — Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler on Saturday ordered the city’s police to stop using a common type of tear gas except as a last resort in life-threatening situations, making it one of several cities that have started restricting law enforcement tactics in response to...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Responding to Challenging Questions in a Nation Still in Upheaval

Nate McCoy attempts to answer tough questions in a letter to his sons ...

Mayor Ted Wheeler: Portland and the Path Forward

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler invites Portlanders, as public servants, to join him "in insisting that we never return to business as usual." ...

Local Business Leaders Share Messages of Hope

President, CEO of SAIF says each of us must move forward in "our understanding of the problem, in holding ourselves accountable for our own attitudes and biases, and in coming together, not apart." ...

Time to Stop Messing Around and Strike at the Root of Police Violence

Thomas Knapp says the root of police violence is the creation of "police forces" as state institutions separate from the populace and dedicated to suppressing that populace on command ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Protesters topple Confederate statue in Virginia capital

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A small group of demonstrators toppled a statue of a Confederate general in the the former capital of the Confederacy late Saturday, following a day of largely peaceful protests in the Virginia city.The statue of Gen. Williams Carter Wickham was pulled from its pedestal...

Asia Today: South Korea's cases surpass 50 for 2nd day

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Sunday reported 57 additional cases of the coronavirus, marking a second day in a row that its daily jump is above 50 as authorities struggle to suppress a spike in infections in the densely populated Seoul area.The new cases took the country’s...

Washington protesters express optimism after week on edge

WASHINGTON (AP) — On Monday, they were forcibly removed from the street by law enforcement. On Saturday, they danced. The tens of thousands of racially diverse demonstrators who flooded Washington to protest injustice and police brutality reshaped the mood of a city that has been on edge...

ENTERTAINMENT

Kanye West attends Chicago protest, donates [scripts/homepage/home.php]M to victims

Kanye West has donated [scripts/homepage/home.php] million to support the families and legal teams for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.A representative for the rapper confirmed that some of the money donated would fully cover college tuition costs for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna. Floyd died...

Shouts of solidarity for black reporter pulled from protests

A black reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was told she could not cover the city’s protests over the death of George Floyd because of a tweet, and now dozens of her colleagues, fellow journalists, her union and even the city’s mayor are speaking out in support of her. On Friday...

AP Photos: Ahead of Tom Jones' 80th birthday, a look back

For nearly 60 years, Tom Jones has been delighting audiences with stunning stage performances and hits like “It's Not Unusual” and “Delilah.”The Welsh baritone who drew comparisons to Elvis turns 80 on Sunday. This gallery of images shot by The Associated Press shows...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP PHOTOS: Massive protests punctuate a week in the streets

They held up signs and their fists and the memory of George Floyd.Tens of thousands of protesters marched...

Coronavirus disrupts global fight to save endangered species

WASHINGTON (AP) — Biologist Carlos Ruiz has spent a quarter-century working to save golden lion tamarins,...

As Trump blames antifa, protest records show scant evidence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scott Nichols, a balloon artist, was riding home on his scooter from the protests...

China urges citizens to shun Australia as dispute simmers

BEIJING (AP) — China is advising its citizens not to visit Australia, citing racial discrimination and...

One man lays wreaths in Normandy on this unusual D-Day

BENOUVILLE, France (AP) — The essence of war remembrance is to make sure the fallen are never forgotten....

UK's rapid-fire changes on face coverings advice criticized

LONDON (AP) — The British government faced criticism Saturday for another sudden change in its advice on...

McMenamins
By Eric Talmadge and Mari Yamaguchi the Associated Press

KORIYAMA, Japan — Japanese officials warned of a possible second explosion at a nuclear plant crippled by the earthquake and tsunami as they raced to stave off multiple reactor meltdowns, but they provided few details about whether they were making progress. More than 180,000 people have evacuated the area, and up to 160 may have been exposed to radiation.

Four nuclear plants in northeastern Japan have reported damage, but the danger Monday appeared to be greatest at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, where one explosion occurred Saturday and a second was feared. Operators have lost the ability to cool three reactors at Dai-ichi and three more at another nearby complex using usual procedures, after the quake knocked out power and the tsunami swamped backup generators.  The Skanner News Video

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Sunday that a hydrogen explosion could occur at Dai-ichi's Unit 3, the latest reactor to face a possible meltdown. That would follow a hydrogen blast Saturday in the plant's Unit 1.

"At the risk of raising further public concern, we cannot rule out the possibility of an explosion," Edano said. "If there is an explosion, however, there would be no significant impact on human health."

Operators have been dumping seawater into units 1 and 3 in a last-ditch measure to cool the reactors. They were getting water into the other four reactors with cooling problems without resorting to corrosive sea water, which likely makes the reactors unusable.

Edano said residents within about 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the Dai-ichi plant were ordered to evacuate as a precaution, and the radioactivity released into the environment so far was so small it didn't pose any health threats.

Such statements, though, did little to ease public worries.

"First I was worried about the quake," said Kenji Koshiba, a construction worker who lives near the plant. "Now I'm worried about radiation." He spoke at an emergency center in Koriyama, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) from the most troubled reactors and 125 miles (190 kilometers) north of Tokyo.

A higher than usual level of radiation was detected at the Dai-ichi plant Monday, after levels rose and dropped in previous days. Naoki Kumagai, an official at Japan's nuclear safety agency, told the Associated Press a person at the monitoring site for an hour would get as much radiation as a plant worker typically gets in six months, but added that the levels would be much higher of one of the reactors were on the verge of a meltdown.

The radiation was detected on the grounds, and Unit 1 was the closest reactor, but it was unclear whether that was where the radiation came from, another agency official said.

At the makeshift center set up in a gym, a steady flow of people — mostly the elderly, schoolchildren and families with babies — were met by officials wearing helmets, surgical masks and goggles.

About 1,500 people had been scanned for radiation exposure, officials said.

Up to 160 people, including 60 elderly patients and medical staff who had been waiting for evacuation in the nearby town of Futabe, and 100 others evacuating by bus, might have been exposed to radiation, said Ryo Miyake, a spokesman from Japan's nuclear agency. It was unclear whether any cases of exposure had reached dangerous levels.

Edano said none of the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors was near the point of complete meltdown, and he was confident of escaping the worst scenarios.

Officials, though, have declared states of emergency at the six reactors where cooling systems were down — three at Dai-ichi and three at the nearby Fukushima Daini complex. The U.N. nuclear agency said a state of emergency was also declared Sunday at another complex, the Onagawa power plant, after higher-than-permitted levels of radiation were measured there. It said Japan informed it that all three reactors there were under control.

A pump for the cooling system at yet another nuclear complex, the Tokai Dai-Ni plant, also failed after Friday's quake but a second pump operated normally as did the reactor, said the utility, the Japan Atomic Power Co. It did not explain why it did not announce the incident until Sunday.

Edano denied there had been a meltdown in the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex, but other officials said the situation was not so clear.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a senior official of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, indicated the reactor core in Unit 3 had melted partially. He said at a news conference, "I don't think the fuel rods themselves have been spared damage," according to the Kyodo News agency.

A complete meltdown — the melting of the radioactive core — could release uranium and dangerous contaminants into the environment and pose major, widespread health risks.

The steel reactor vessel could melt or break from the heat and pressure. A concrete platform underneath the reactor is supposed to catch the molten metal and nuclear fuel, but the intensely hot material could set off a massive explosion if water has collected on the platform. Radioactive material also could be released into the ground if the platform fails.

The explosion that destroyed the walls and ceiling of Dai-ichi Unit 1's containment building was much less serious that a meltdown would be — in fact, it was operators' efforts to avoid a meltdown that caused it.

Officials vented steam from the reactor to reduce pressure, and were aware that there was an explosion risk because the steam contained hydrogen, said Shinji Kinjo, spokesman for the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. The explosion occurred when hydrogen reacted with oxygen outside the reactor.

It is unclear how far the impact of a meltdown might reach. In the United States, local communities plan for evacuation typically within 10 miles of a nuclear plant. However, states must be ready to cope with contamination of food and water as far as 50 miles away. Radioactivity can also be carried to faraway places by the winds, as it was in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, though it will become increasingly diffuse. Acute radiation deaths would normally be expected only much closer to the plant.

The reactor that exploded at Chernobyl, sending a cloud of radiation over much of Europe, was not housed in a sealed container as those at Dai-ichi are. The Japanese reactors also do not use graphite, which burned for several days at Chernobyl.

Japan's nuclear crisis was triggered by twin disasters on Friday, when an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, the most powerful in the country's recorded history, was followed by a tsunami that savaged its northeastern coast with breathtaking speed and power.

More than 1,400 people were killed and hundreds more were missing, according to officials, but police in one of the worst-hit areas estimated the toll there alone was more than 10,000.

All of the reactors in the region shut down automatically when the earthquake hit. But with backup power supplies also failing, shutting down the reactors is just the beginning of the problem, scientists said.

"You need to get rid of the heat," said Friedrich Steinhaeusler, a professor of physics and biophysics at Salzburg University and an adviser to the Austrian government on nuclear issues. "You are basically putting the lid down on a pot that is boiling."

"They have a window of opportunity where they can do a lot," he said, such as using sea water as an emergency coolant. But if the heat is not brought down, the cascading problems can eventually be impossible to control. "This isn't something that will happen in a few hours. It's days."

Japan's nuclear safety agency said 1,450 workers were at the Dai-ichi plant on Sunday, its usual staffing. The workers were in protective gear and were taking shorter turns than usual in units 1 and 3 to limit their exposure, agency spokesman Yoshihiro Sugiyama said.

The emergencies at the nuclear plants have led to an electricity shortage in Japan, where nearly 2 million households were without power Sunday. Starting Monday, power will be rationed with rolling blackouts in several cities, including Tokyo.

Japan has a total of 55 reactors spread across 17 complexes nationwide.

___

Yamaguchi reported from Tokyo. Associated Press writers Tomoko A. Hosaka in Tokyo, Tim Sullivan in Bangkok and Jeff Donn in Boston contributed to this report.

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Photo Archives