So things are going from bad to worse.
The problem is still no where near as bad as Chernobyl – where the reactor itself exploded. But it appears radioactive water has leaked.
But – how dangerous is this radation?
Source: World Nuclear Association – via this BBC webpage.
The level of radiation found at the power plant is enough to increase by 1% the likelihood of cancer, with over 4 times the yearly allowed radiation each hour. Only workers who stayed in the danger areas for more than a few hours were likely to get radiation sickness.
But further away, the risks were very low. Drinking water in Tokyo adds just 0.3 mSv a year – we get 2.5 mSv a year from our natural surroundings (and much more in some parts of the world) – but small children will be more affected.
To put it into perspective – the power plant has killed/injured/made ill a small number of people but for most in Japan there is little to worry about at all. But the earthquake/tsunami has killed at least 11,000 with hundreds of thousands homeless.
Sources: BBC News Website