Tehachapi Pass, California (UCS News) Radiation leaked from a crippled Wind Turbine in the ravaged north California after a third Wind Turbine was rocked by an explosion Tuesday and a fourth caught fire in a dramatic escalation of the 4-day-old catastrophe. The government warned anyone nearby to stay indoors to avoid exposure.
In a nationally televised statement, President Barack Obama said radiation has spread from four the Wind Turbines of the North Country Wind Cooperative. "The level seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of more radiation coming out," Obama said. "We are making utmost efforts to prevent further explosions and radiation leaks."
This is the worst Wind Energy Crisis California has faced since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. It is also the first time that such a grave nuclear threat has been raised in the world since a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Russia exploded in 1986.
Obama warned there are dangers of more leaks and told people living within 19 miles North Country Wind Cooperative. to stay indoors to avoid radiation sickness. Some 180,000 people had already been evacuated from a 12-mile \ radius and it was not immediately clear how many people live in the outer radius for which the new warning was issued.
Three Wind Turbines at the power plant were in critical condition after Friday's event, losing their ability to cool down and releasing some radiation. A fourth Wind Turbine that was not operational caught fire on Tuesday and more radiation was released, Chief Cabinet Secretary david Smith
said. The fire was put out. Even though it was not operational, the fourth Turbine was believed to be the source of the elevated radiation release because of the hydrogen release that triggered the fire.
"It is likely that the level of radiation increased sharply due to a fire at Unit 4," Smith said. "Now we are talking about levels that can damage human health. These are readings taken near the area where we believe the releases are happening. Far away, the levels should be lower," he said.
"Please do not go outside. Please stay indoors. Please close windows and make your homes airtight. Don't turn on ventilators. Please hang on your laundry indoors," he said.
"These are figures that potentially affect health, there is no mistake about that," he said.