Japan's earthquake-ignited nuclear crisis has gone from bad to worse.
Radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant rose today (Thursday) as attempts to cool the stricken reactor with high-pressure hoses failed. The No. 3 reactor's spent fuel rod pool is overheating and could release dangerous amounts of radiation into the atmosphere.
Sadly, the nation's death toll already has climbed above 5,300, with many more missing or in danger. And analysts now estimate that the direct monetary costs from Friday's 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami will range from $160billion to $200billion.
Indeed, the early reports forecast that the disaster could trim the output of Japan's $5.39 trillion economy by half a percentage point - which would add another $25 billion to that tab.