TOKYO (majirox news) – The pressure has stabilized at reactor No.3, said TEPCO, Japan’s Electric Co., operators of Dai-ichi power plant, at a press conference about 4:20 p.m today. This means they will not have to release any radioactive gas from the reactor at the moment. However, they will have to watch the situation before making any decisions.
Pressure rising in reactor No.3
Japans Nuclear Safety Agency says the pressure in reactor No. 3 is rising at the Dai-ichi plant. Safety agency official Hidehiko Nishiyama said that efforts to spray water in the reactor might not have been working. He says the plant operator will release some radioactive gas from the reactor into the environment and that this may slow work on restoring power and cooling systems to the reactor.
Reactor No.5 and No.6 cooling systems back up and running, spraying water, port of Misawa
The cooling systems for spent-fuel storage pools are back up and running at reactors No. 5 and No. 6 of the plant after engineers operated pumps for supplying seawater to the pools, the Tokyo Electric Power Co., operators of the plant, said early Sunday.
Experts said a typical spent fuel rods pool during operation is kept at about 25 degrees Celsius. Japan’s Self Defense Forces said that measurements from helicopters confirmed that the temperatures of reactors No.5 and No.6 were below 40 degrees, well within normal cooling temperatures limits
Investigation of the pumps revealed that the pumps appear to have suffered comparatively little damage.
“By bringing electric power to these reactors, the end of the current crisis is within view,” TEPCO officials said.
Spraying of Water
-The spraying of water was continuing Sunday morning and set up to remain operating unattended. The amount of water poured is more than 1,000 tons.
-Japan’s Self Defense Forces, SDF, started spraying water at reactor No.4 and finished about 1:40 a.m. March 20, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. About 80 tons of water were used in the cooling operation. The SDF members directed water into the reactor’s spent fuel tank to help cool fuel rods and keep them immersed in water to prevent them from overheating and releasing more radioactive material, Japan’s Nuclear Agency said.
- The Tokyo Fire Department said it made progress by its efforts to cool other reactors by spraying them with water. They said radiation levels at reactor No. 3 dropped after it started spraying water on the reactor’s fuel pool. The Tokyo Fire Department has added a special pumping truck to the fire truck currently deployed to cool down the reactor.
-Japan’s local media said firefighters spent more than 13 hours pouring water on reactor No. 3 Saturday, which was a greater risk because its spent fuel tank had less water in it.
-In anticipation of damage to the pumps, 20 temporary pumps have already been set up to draw off heat from the nuclear reactor
However, Graham Andrew, special advisor to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s director general, at a press briefing in Vienna, said the situation still remains very serious.
“I prefer not to speculate about the future, but as the days go by, the risk of a total meltdown is reducing, ” Andrew said. “The situation has been improving in some areas.”
Port of Misawa
Meanwhile, Kenji Mastusmoto, reports to Majirox News that today he went to the Port of Misawa. Misawa, which is almost at the top of Honshu – far from Sendai. Yet, the Tsunami struck with enough force to destroy the port. The tsunami was about 5-meters high as it hit the port. Luckily, the town is behind raised sea defenses and the usual pine trees planted to reduce the force of the tsunami and saved from any damage.
The port was home to about 100 fishing boats — about 40 were out to sea — that were also saved from damage. The fishermen did not feel safe enough to return until 36 hours after the wave. The other boats were either damaged or destroyed. Because of the tsunami warning the loss of life was small.
Misawa city has plenty of food, but fuel has been reduced, although it is starting to get through. However, it is not the case at the city of Hachinohe, which is just a short distance down the coast.