Power Cable Reconnected to Reactor No. 2, Tainted Milk and Spinach

03/19/2011
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TOKYO (majirox news) – Plant operators finished connecting a 1-kilometer long power cable from the main grid to restart the water pumps in order to cool down reactor 2 in Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a deputy director general for the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

“Workers will begin work on restoring power to the cooling system of the reactor tomorrow morning,” Nishiyama said during a press conference in Tokyo. The power would also be restored to the reactor’s No. 1 cooling system.

He called this “an important step.”

The issue now is whether the pumping systems will start up because they may have been damaged in the earthquake.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. employees worked all night trying to connect the cable after the cooling systems of the reactors were damaged by the earthquake and the tsunami. Japan’s Self Defense Forces and firefighters also sprayed water on the reactors in an attempt to cool them down until power can be restored. Workers will continue spraying water on reactors No. 1 and No. 2.

Workers restarted the cooling pump at the plant’s reactor No. 5, which was undergoing maintenance at the time of earthquake and was one of the least damaged, Tepco said today.

Additionally, according the National Police Agency, as many as 7,197 people have been confirmed dead due to the earthquake and tsunami. While about 10,905 people have been officially listed as missing persons. This means that the total of dead and missing people is 18,102 people.

Hopes to Restore Power to Reactors 1 and 2, Water Pumped into No.3, Spinach and Milk Above Food Safety Limit

“Spinach grown in Ibaraki prefecture and milk produced in Fukushima prefecture radiation levels are above limits stipulated by the food safety law,” said Yukio Edano, a top government spokesman, at a news conference today. The higher levels of radiation was detected yesterday at 5:30 p.m.

“If one consumed these products for a year it would be less than 1 rem of radiation exposure from a CT scan,” Edano said. “These levels would not affect the health of people.”

According to the Nikkei & Asahi Shimbun Japanese editions, Tepco hopes to restore power to reactors 1 and 2 today and from 1 p.m. this afternoon, teams started pumping water into the cooling pool of reactor No. 3. Their pumping system is capable of pumping approximately 3 tons of water a minute and they hope at the end of seven hours of pumping to have filled the cooling pool on reactor 3 with 1,400 tons of water. They are also discussing moving on to reactor 4 when this is finished.

-Those living 30 km from the plant have been advised to stay indoors, close windows and make homes airtight. Many worry they will never be able to go out at all.

Radiation Readings Updated in English/Japanese, Power Reconnection Expected Soon, News From the North

-Radiation levels remain safe to human health outside the evacuation zone throughout Japan. According to the World Health Organization, there is no reason for people to leave Japan, except the affected areas.

- Japan’s Nuclear Safety Agency says they hope to reconnect the new power line that could restore cooling systems and ease the crisis in reactor No.1 and No.2 today. Japanese engineers are attempting to connect a 1-kilometer long power cable from the main grid to restart the water pumps in order to cool down the reactors.

- Reactors No.3 and No.4 hopefully will be reconnected tomorrow. Reactor No. 6 backup diesel and emergency pumps are working. Reactor #5 pump is also working.

-The Ministry of Education and Science updates their home page on radiation readings throughout Japan daily, sometimes twice a day. The good news is that they have three mirror sites and there is an English translation. One good thing about this is that if you scroll down all the way to the bottom of the English page there is an excellent chart showing the effects of various dosages of radiation.

http://eq.sakura.ne.jp/
http://eq.wide.ad.jp/index_en.html
http://eq.yahoo.co.jp

-According to Kenji Matsumoto, who went to the cities of Niigata, Yamagata and then to Misawa in North Tohoku today, there is almost no quake damage inland and radiation levels are normal. At Yamagata City there are more than 1,000 refugees and the number is growing.

The expressways are closed in Tohoku – you need permission to enter and there is almost no fuel.

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