This is incredible. We now have a nuclear zone where people will not be able to live for what must be at least years.
How much land are we talking about? Probably at least the twenty kilometer evacuation zone around the plant. That’s 1,256 square kilometers. Could it include some or all of the ten kilometer zone beyond that? If it does that’s 2,826 square kilometers. What if it keeps spreading? Your guess is as good as mine.
However, the radiation leakage is probably going to decide how much has to be evacuated for how long.
This is the part the advocates of nuclear power never seem to talk about, hundreds of square miles of what was once habitable land off limits to humans save for “safe” exposure times. Essentially a wasteland.
And this crisis is far from over.
From BBC News -
More than 70,000 people have been evacuated from a 20km (12-mile) evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Another 136,000 people who live in a 10km zone beyond that have been encouraged by the authorities to leave or to stay indoors.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the evacuation would be a “long-term” operation.
“So therefore, we are giving instructions on how to proceed with the continuation of children’s’ education, and the employment of people who are unable to work because of the evacuation order,” he said.
Highly radioactive water continues to leak at the plant; for the first time it has been found in groundwater 15m below reactor 1.
From further down -
The authorities are resisting calls from the UN’s atomic agency to expand the exclusion zone around the plant, after it found safe radiation limits had been exceeded at the village of Iitate, 40km away.
In case you are curious, that’s 5024 square kilometers.