International Atomic Energy Agency Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident Update, 26 March 2011 (10:30 UTC)

Vienna, Austria–(ENEWSPF)–26 March 2011 – Update 10:30 UTC.

IAEA Sends Second and Third Teams to Japan to Aid Response to Nuclear Emergency

The IAEA has dispatched additional teams to Japan to assist in the response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant emergency.

On 24 March, a team of IAEA specialists travelled to Japan, where they will continue efforts to supplement Japan’s radiation monitoring efforts. Team members include worker radiation protection experts and safeguards department officials.

On 25 March, a joint IAEA/Food and Agriculture Organization team departed Vienna. The three-person team included the Head of the IAEA Food and Environmental Protection Laboratory, an IAEA soil scientist, and an FAO food safety specialist from FAO’s headquarters in Rome.

This food safety assessment team will provide advice and assistance on sampling and analytical strategies and will help interpret Japanese monitoring data.

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident Update (26 March, 05:15 UTC)

Brief Update on State of Fukushima Daiichi Reactors

Japanese authorities today confirmed a number of developments at the nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi.

Unit 1

Workers have restored lighting in the control room and have recovered some instrumentation. As of 25 March, fresh water is now being pumped into the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) instead of seawater.

Unit 2

Seawater injection into the reactor pressure vessel continues, and RPV pressures remain stable.

Unit 3

Workers are now pumping fresh water into the RPV, while seawater is pumped into the spent fuel pool. In addition, firefighters sprayed water into the reactor building yesterday from the outside.

Unit 4

With no fuel in the RPV, concerns remain focused on the condition of the spent fuel pool, and workers continued to use a concrete pump truck to pour water into the pool from above while pumping seawater into the pool through the fuel pool cooling line.

Units 5 and 6

Both reactors have achieved safe, cold shutdown, and their fuel pool temperatures have stabilised at acceptable levels.

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident Update (26 March, 01:30 UTC)

Radioactive Materials Found in Japanese Seawater Sampling — UPDATED

Japanese authorities today reported data on radiation samples collected 30 kilometres off shore of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 24 March, and the levels of iodine-131 and cesium-137 showed slight variations from data collected at the same locations on 23 March (see previous update.

A vessel from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) collected water samples at eight points 30 kilometres from the coastline and found measurable concentrations of iodine-131 and cesium-137. The iodine concentrations measured were about at Japanese regulatory limits, and the cesium levels were well below those limits.

The IAEA’s Marine Environmental Laboratory in Monaco has received the data and offered this preliminary analysis:

Dilution, both into deeper layers and by dispersion along the prevailing ocean currents will lead to a rapid decrease of the initial surface contamination.

For the short term, iodine-131 will be the relevant radionuclide as far as doses are concerned, but for the long term, cesium-137 will be the more important radionuclide in the marine environment. It will be possible to follow this nuclide over long distances for several years.

It can be expected that radionuclides will take months or years to reach other shores of the Pacific. The main transport of contamination takes place by atmospheric transport over long distances.