11-16-2019  8:41 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act Introduced

In honor of Veterans Day, Monday, Merkley, Brown, Reed, Van Hollen introduced legislation to extend financial protections for servicemembers to veterans and consumers

Home Base Keeps More Than 400 Families in Their Homes in Seattle

The United Way of King County program aims to reduce homelessness by preventing evictions

Jefferson High Sees Gains in Freshman Preparedness, Graduation Rates

New support positions aim to increase attendance rates among students who often struggle with displacement, homelessness

Nike Cuts Ties With Amazon, but Shoes Won’t Vanish From Site

Nike wants to focus on selling its swoosh-branded gear on its own site and apps

NEWS BRIEFS

Noose Found at Oregon Health & Science University

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DEQ Extends Air Quality Advisory Due to Stagnation

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Tuesday, Nov. 12 ...

Forest Service Waives Fees in Honor of Veterans Day

The USDA Forest Service will waive fees at day-use recreation sites in Oregon and Washington on Monday, Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans...

Two Local Nonprofits Announced as Grant Recipients for Portland-Area Programs

Financial Beginnings Oregon and Portland Parks Foundation will receive a total of 0,000 plus leadership resources through Bank of...

State Seeks Volunteers to Rank Investments in Washington’s Outdoors

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is recruiting 50 volunteers to evaluate grant proposals for parks, boating...

Texas Southern’s jerseys stolen before game at Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Police say uniforms were stolen from Texas Southern’s women’s basketball team before their game at Oregon.Eugene Police say a black duffel bag containing all the jerseys was taken from a downtown hotel conference room Saturday.The Tigers wore practice...

Man arrested for arson after 4 Oregon fires

TIGARD, Ore. (AP) — Police in Oregon have arrested a man suspected of starting four fires in one day.Tigard Police says 26-year-old Joseph Tyler Martinez was arrested for arson. He’s suspected of setting four fires Thursday.Police say the first fire caused serious damage to the...

Trask, stingy defense lead Florida over Missouri, 23-6

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nothing about Kyle Trask’s path to becoming Florida’s starting quarterback was easy. Something as trivial as a sluggish first half doesn’t rattle him.Trask threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter to help No. 11 Florida shake free of Missouri...

No. 11 Gators head to Mizzou hoping for another turnaround

It was only a year ago that Dan Mullen was asked about the state of his Florida program after he watched his team get humiliated by Missouri in the Swamp.His response already has become the stuff of legend.“They keep score. Someone wins and someone loses,” Mullen said, passion rising...

OPINION

Illinois Prison Bans Black History Books

Officials claim the works are ‘racial’ ...

5 Ways Life Would be Better if it Were Always Daylight Saving Time

A Professor from the University of Washington says DST saves lives and energy and prevents crime ...

Importance of Educators of Color for Black and Brown Students

A new report examines the ways that school leaders of color’s experiences and perspectives influence how they build school culture ...

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Sanders stars with Biden, Warren absent at California forum

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bernie Sanders was greeted with booming cheers at a gathering of California Democrats Saturday, underscoring his popularity with the party’s liberal base as he looks to capture the biggest prize in the presidential primary season next year.The decisions by...

Analysis: Deval Patrick revives debate over ‘electability’

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s late entry into the presidential race offers Democrats a fresh — and perhaps last — chance to reassess who they think is the strongest candidate to take on President Donald Trump.It adds to the now months-long debate within the...

College president wants founder’s name removed from building

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The president of a private liberal arts college in Minnesota is asking his board of trustees to remove the school founder’s name from a campus building over concerns about his racist and sexist views in the 1800s.The Star Tribune reports that Macalester College...

ENTERTAINMENT

Media filters set current impeachment hearings apart

NEW YORK (AP) — Millions of Americans are choosing to experience the impeachment hearings through media filters that depict the proceedings as either a worthless sham or like Christmas in November.That’s the chief difference between now and the two other times in the modern era when a...

Creator of Lizzo’s signature slogan could get a Grammy nod

NEW YORK (AP) — Mina Lioness’ longstanding battle to finally receive writing credit on Lizzo’s megahit song “Truth Hurts” is paying off in more ways than one: it could win her a potential Grammy Award.Lizzo's breakthrough tune features the signature line —...

Ex-ambassador’s testimony shines light on conservative media

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s impeachment testimony on Friday spotlighted the role of conservative media in her downfall and the chilling reminder that she remains a social media target.The ousted ambassador recalled a series of articles by reporter...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Last minute-audible: Kaepernick workout moves to high school

RIVERDALE, Ga. (AP) — Colin Kaepernick’s saga took another surreal turn Saturday — a...

AP FACT CHECK: Impeachment hearings and that Trump tweet

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he was just exercising his right to free speech. Democrats...

Sanders stars with Biden, Warren absent at California forum

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bernie Sanders was greeted with booming cheers at a gathering of California...

Bolivian interim leader meets UN envoy amid violence fears

SACABA, Bolivia (AP) — A U.N. envoy met with Bolivia’s interim president Saturday to find a way out...

Scuffles mar anniversary of birth of yellow vest movement

PARIS (AP) — Scuffles between Paris police and activists on Saturday marred the anniversary of the birth of...

Ukraine feels abandoned amid US impeachment drama

Ukraine is at the center of today’s east-west geopolitical battle, but it’s feeling increasingly...

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.

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