Japan’s nuclear crisis continues to worsen with reports that a fire has broken out in a fourth reactor, and blasts in two others have escalated radiation to dangerous levels that pose a threat to human health. That means four of the six Japanese reactors are now in trouble, and Prime Minister Naoto Kan has sent a warning that anyone living up to 10 km outside the exclusion zones should stay inside with the windows closed and air conditioning turned off. Radiation levels in Tokyo have reportedly increased but remain safe for health. Meanwhile the International Atomic Energy Agency has reportedly been called in for emergency assistance as fears continue to grow that the Japanese situation could become another Chernobyl.
With crisis in Japan continuing there are increasing global worries about the economic impact. Europe and US are particularly concerned about the supply of semi-conductors and audio-visual equipment from Japan. The US Dow fell 2% on opening while the benchmark index in Tokyo dropped more than 10%. European indexes also posted a fall of 2 to 4 %.