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Limited reach for Japan's nuclear disaster

The rough consensus: The long-term and most severe effects from radiation at the plant, where four of six reactors are in crisis and hundreds of tons of spent fuel is a risk, will be largely contained to the area around the plant, affect a relatively limited population and will likely not spread outside Japan.
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Mar 21, 2011, 6:17 pm
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Perhaps it’s just the headline, which perhaps he did not write, but Lustgarten, like the majority of commentators on this crisis, neglects to mention the most significant outcome: major damage to the Japanese economy.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company’s capacity to supply Tokyo (and its 35 million greater metropolitan residents) with power has been severely diminished. Tokyo and surrounding areas are dealing with rolling blackouts nearly every day, and those blackouts look set to continue well into the summer, if not beyond.

Additionally, major transport links that serve eastern Japan north of Tokyo have been damaged, and in the case of at least one bullet train, repairs must be made to the tracks in over 200 places.

Finally, with (small amounts of) radiation having been found in milk and tap water and on leafy green vegetables grown in the region surrounding the plant, Tokyo’s food supply, and Japan’s agricultural industry, have been threatened.

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