The Latest News from Japan: March 16S

There aren't many options left for the nuclear crisis at Japan's Fukushima plant. There may be no more water to cool the no. 4 reactor, leaving the rods indefinitely exposed and certain to melt down. The Japanese emperor, who is "deeply concerned," has made a rare address to the public. Meanwhile, bankers are hogging all the planes out of the country. Here are the latest updates from the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown disaster.

  • Greg Jaczko, the head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission — which has experts on site — briefed reporters today with an incredibly bleak take. He said "that all the water is gone from one of the spent fuel pools," the Associated Press writes. If he's correct, "this would mean there's nothing to stop the fuel rods from getting hotter and ultimately melting down. The outer shell of the rods could also ignite with enough force to propel the radioactive fuel inside over a wide area." For what it's worth, Japanese officials deny this.
  • And if reactor no. 4 melted down, of course, then the brave workers who've already risked their lives to be there wouldn't be able to service the other reactors any longer.
  • Japan's 77-year-old Emperor Akihito — son of Hirohito — usually shies from current events, but he gave a public address today as the situation grew more dire. He's "deeply concerned" and wants to visit the site, but for now he doesn't want to get in the way.
  • Japan's many expat bankers are getting the hell out of there and paying top dollar for it. Private jet companies "reported a surge in demand for evacuation flights" when the bankers started leaving, "which sent prices surging as much as a quarter. One jet operator said the cost of flying 14 people to Hong Kong from Tokyo was more than $160,000."

Previously:
Overnight Japan news roundup
New Fire Erupts at Japan Nuclear Plant

[Image via AP]