Via Gizmodo, I thought we’d seen the worst a few weeks ago, but no. The clip at the last link looked like a flood turning into rapids transforming into a roaring river. This looks more like what it actually was — an honest-to-goodness ocean spilling into a city and swallowing it whole. By the end of the clip, if not for that lone building on the right edge of the frame, you wouldn’t know civilization had been there.

Today’s deep-breath news from the Fukushima plant is that plutonium’s been found in the soil. Time to panic? Not just yet: Japanese officials say three of the five samples they found were deposited years ago by minute fallout from Chinese and North Korean nuclear tests. The other two probably come from reactor three, which uses plutonium-based “mox” fuel; that’s a big deal if the reactor pops open and there’s a major plutonium release, but right now the levels in the soil are low enough to pose no threat to human health. The main problem right now isn’t in the soil or even inside the reactors. It’s in the tunnels underneath the reactors, where the the water is so ridiculously radioactive that workers can’t get in there to reconnect power lines and restart the reactors’ cooling systems. They’re going to have to pump the water out first — assuming they can figure out a way to do it without contaminating everything in the vicinity. I’m sure they’ll think of something soon. This crisis can’t last more than a few … years, right?

Tags: China