Satellite Image Shows Damage to Reactor Buildings at Fukushima Daiichi Complex After Explosions
March 14, 2011
DigitalGlobe has released a commercial satellite image showing the Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex taken on March 14, 2011. Damage to the top of the reactor building for Unit 1 as well as damage to the reactor building for Unit 3 following the explosions can be seen (see figure 1). Steam can be seen venting out from the reactor building for Unit 3.
UPDATE: ISIS has learned that the satellite image in Figure 1 was taken approximately three minutes after the explosion at the reactor building for Unit 3. According to the Tokyo Electric Power Company, the explosion at the reactor building for Unit 3 occurred at approximately 11:01AM local time. According to DigitalGlobe, the image was taken at 11:04 AM local time. Taken so soon after the explosion, the plume seen extending out across the water is likely smoke or dust from the explosion (see figure 1).
Figure 2 is a ground photograph of the site, including the reactor building for Units 1 and 3, from September 2010 for reference. Figure 3 is a ground photograph of the reactor building for Unit 1 after the March 12 explosion. The top portion of the reactor building for Unit 1 is damaged in this image. Figure 4 is a schematic from General Electric showing the reactor building for Unit 1 and the top portion where the blast occurred.