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Top Morning Stories March 14, 2011

Image courtesy of Google maps.

Another Blast at Japan Nuclear Plant

All eyes are on Japan’s nuclear power emergency after Friday’s massive earthquake and tsunami.  Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano reports a hydrogen explosion happened at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Monday.  It was similar to Saturday's blast at a different unit.  More on the explosion from

Edano said people within a 12-mile radius were ordered inside following Monday's explosion. Associated Press journalists felt the blast 30 miles away. Edano said the reactor's inner containment vessel holding nuclear rods was intact, allaying some fears of the risk to the environment and public. The Unit 3 reactor had been under emergency watch for a possible explosion as pressure built up there following a hydrogen blast Saturday in the facility's Unit 1. 

NPR reports that "radiation so far is not at acute, lethal levels, but it is of great concern.  KUT's Ben Philpott looked at how the situation in Japan is influencing the nuclear debate in Texas.

Central Texans Giving for Japan

The Central Texas Red Crossand the Japan-America Society of Greater Austin have posted several links online for people trying to contact family and friends in Japan.  At South by Southwest Interactive, some festival goers have created online fundraising sitesand are using social media to encourage people to donate. 

Longhorns Preparing for NCAA Second Round

The UT men's basketball team (the No. 4 seed in the West Region) plays No. 13 Oakland Friday in the NCAA Tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Tip off is set for 11:15 a.m. Central time.  If Texas wins, they will take on the winner of Friday's Arizona-Memphis game.