Convoy of SDF Trucks Completes Mission, Result Unknown

03/17/2011
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UPDATE
The convoy of five of the Self Defense Force’s high powered water-canon trucks completed shooting water in reactor No.3 around 7:45 p.m., local time. Whether pouring water into the fuel pool caused the temperatures to go down is still unknown.

A convoy arrived at Fukushima plant about 6 p.m. and carried a total of about 30 tons of water.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police force’s one water-cannon truck, which was sent earlier, also poured water into reactor No.3.

UPDATE: Fuel will be provided to disaster areas, some stores in Tokyo are closed
Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda said that 38,000 kiloliters of fuel is needed per day in the disaster areas, at a press conference at about 3:45 p.m. today. The government implemented a plan to provide 700 fuel trucks in the area. Everyday about 20,000 kiloliters will come from Kansai and 18,000 kiloliters will from Hokkaido. “This will solve the fuel problem,” Kaieda said.

Kaieda and MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportion) asked Kanto railway companies to reduce operations of its trains during rush hours and also people to conserve electricity or else a huge power block-out will occur.

Meanwhile, many clothing stores have closed this week, including Abercrombie & Fitch and H & M.

UPDATE: Helicopters Shooting Water, Reactor No.3 Exposed, New Power Line, Radiation experts in the U.S. said there is a lack of information
-Strong winds have made it difficult for helicopters to hover above the Fukushima plant and pour water over it this morning. Instead they are flying over it. In order for the operation to be effective the helicopters need to pour water over the plant at least 100 times.
- Plant operators said they were close to finishing a new power line that could restore cooling systems and ease the crisis.
- NHK reported that the spent fuel rods in the pool at reactor No. 3 are currently exposed. Power problems caused the temperatures to increase, which lead to the water evaporating. The depth of the spent fuel rods in the pools at reactors are about 15 meters and the length of the rods are about 4 meters. Usually water fills up in the pools to 15 meters.
-Reactors No.5 and No.6 at the Fukushima plant could have similar problems that occurred at reactor No. 4. Reactors No.5 and No.6 were not operating when the earthquake occurred, however they have spent fuel rods in the pools. Officials told NHK that temperatures of those reactors have increased. There isn’t any way to verify the water levels because of the high radiation in the area.
- There is a third helicopter mission.
- The workers at the plant are preparing high-power water-canon trucks.
-At a press conference earlier today, Yukio Edano, the top government spokesman, said President Obama and Prime Minister Kan talked by telephone earlier today. The U.S. sent an additional nine nuclear experts to Japan. The ones who have already arrived in Japan are coordinating operations with Japanese experts and exchanging information.
-Reporters asked Edano, “US delegates said there was not any water in the spent fuel rods in the pool at reactor No. 4, is it true?” Edano would not answer the question. Reporters also asked why the US evacuation zone is 80 km and Japan’s zone is 30 km. Edano said, “The U.S. Government has the right to recommend this to its citizens and take more conservative measures.”
Radiation experts in the U.S. say that the lack of information about radioactivity released from the reactors makes it impossible to gauge the current danger, project how bad a potential meltdown might be.
Fred Mettler, the U.S. representative for the United Nation’s committee on the health effects of radiation, said, “They’re monitoring and evaluating and watching the meteorology. They need to know what the dose rates are in various places, what direction the (radiation is) moving in and what’s causing it.”
-Foreign countries said the disaster level was 6 (7 being the highest) while the Japanese government said it was level 4. “Foreign countries have a right to give more conservative numbers”, Edano said.
-According to NHK, two elderly people died during the evacuation. They were being moved from the zone to a hospital outside it.

TOKYO (majirox news) – At 8:56 a.m. two CH47 helicopters left Sendai Base. Each helicopter can carry up to 7.5 tons of water. Yesterday they couldn’t pour water directory over the plant due to high radiation. The helicopters are pouring water over reactors No. 3. Sendai City also sent 11 high-powered fire engines to the Fukushima plant.

Helicopters are allowed to operate up to 40 minutes above the Dai-ichi Fukushima plant. Each helicopter is equipped with lead plates to protect the crew members from radiation. In normal circumstances, aircrafts are not allowed to fly when the radiation is above 20 miliseverts. However, in special circumstances they are allowed to fly with radiation levels up to 100 miliserverts.

Other helicopter are preparing to continue the operation.

NHK is reporting that there is not any water in the spent fuel rod pools of reactors No. 3 and No. 4., and this the reason the helicopters have been sent.

Mizuho Bank said some of its ATM machines are not working.

Meanwhile, the United States has recommended American citizens who live within 50 miles (80 km) of the Dai-ichi plant evacuate.

“The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Energy and other technical experts in the U.S. Government have reviewed the scientific and technical information they have collected from assets in country, as well as what the Government of Japan has disseminated, in response to the deteriorating situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Consistent with the NRC guidelines that apply to such a situation in the United States, we are recommending, as a precaution, that American citizens who live within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant evacuate the area or to take shelter indoors if safe evacuation is not practical.

“We want to underscore that there are numerous factors in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, including weather, wind direction and speed, and the nature of the reactor problem that affect the risk of radioactive contamination within this 50 mile (80 km) radius or the possibility of lower-level radioactive materials reaching greater distances.”

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