Nuclear Energy Institute Report on Japan’s Nuclear Reactors, March 29, 2011 (6:30 PM EDT)

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–March 29, 2011 – UPDATE AS OF 6:30 P.M. EDT.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said that cooling water is being added to the spent storage fuel pools at reactors 2 and 3. Reactor 2 was using a temporary motor-driven pump and reactor 3 was using a truck to pump the freshwater into the fuel storage pools. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that plans are being made to begin pumping freshwater into the fuel storage pool at reactor 4 starting today.

IAEA said that 63 food samples taken March 24-29 in eight prefectures (Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Niigata, Tochigi and Yamagata) were below regulatory limits set by the Japanese government for iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137.

New analyses of seawater about 1,000 feet from the discharge point of reactors 1 through 4 show “a significant decrease” in radiation levels from March 26, IAEA said.

Readings for iodine-131 went from 2,000,000 picocuries (1 picocurie is one-trillionth of a curie) per liter on March 26 to 297,300 picocuries per liter on March 27. Readings for cesium-137 went from 324,324 picocuries per liter on March 26 to 51,351 picocuries per liter on March 27. IAEA said that radiation readings in seawater “will be quite variable in the near future depending on water discharge levels.”

Japan’s National Research Institute of Fishery Science has analyzed five fish samples from the port of Choshi in Chiba prefecture and found concentrations in the fish to be “far below any concern for fish consumption.” Four of five samples showed cesium-137 concentrations below the limit of detection. In the remaining sample, cesium-137 was found to be slightly above detectable levels.

IAEA said the situation was evolving, but that concentrations of radionuclides in seawater would soon drop to lower values by dilution and that the levels in marine food would most likely not reach levels above regulatory limits set for consumption.

In the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s daily data summary from its RadNet radiation air monitors across the United States show typical fluctuations in background radiation levels as of 8:30 A.M. EDT. “The levels detected are far below levels of concern,” EPA said.

NEI has uploaded two videos to its YouTube channel. The first video discusses the lessons learned from Japan and the second video discusses the future of nuclear power. Both videos feature Maria Korsnick, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s chief nuclear officer.