Today (March 16), various foreign governments encouraged their nationals to consider relocation in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster:
France – the nation with the greatest dependence on nuclear power – urged its nationals in Tokyo to leave Japan or move further south. French industry minister Eric Besson was quoted by Reuters news service as saying: “Let’s not beat about the bush. They have visibly lost the essential of control (of the situation). That is our analysis, in any case, it’s not what they are saying.”
The United States this afternoon urged nationals within 50 miles of the Fukushima reactors to evacuate or stay indoors. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko told Congress today, according to Reuters, that “there is no water in the spent fuel pool [of Reactor 4] and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures.”
The United Kingdom told its nationals today to consider leaving Tokyo and northern Japan, in part due to the situation at Fukushima.
These steps – taken by nations with experience in nuclear power and strong alliances with Japan – add to concern over the ultimate fate of the Fukushima reactors and any individuals that may be in harm’s way.