Nuclear Energy Institute Update on Japan’s Nuclear Reactors, March 16

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–March 16, 2011.  News reports that high radiation levels led to the evacuation of all workers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station are not accurate. Workers were evacuated for about an hour but returned to the site to continue efforts to restore safe conditions at the plant.

Restoration of electrical power to the site was under way at the Daiichi plant as of 6:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday. A temporary cable was being connected between an off-site power line and Daiichi reactor 3. Off-site power has not been available at the site since the earthquake on March 11.

Reactors 1, 2 and 3 at the plant are being cooled with seawater. There is some level of uranium fuel damage at all three units, and containment structure damage is suspected at reactor 2.

Before the earthquake, reactor 4 had been in refueling and was completely defueled. Attempts to provide cooling water to the used fuel pool at reactor 4 by helicopter were not successful. Preparations are being made to inject water into the fuel storage pool using a high-capacity spray pump. There have been two fires inside the reactor containment building at reactor 4, but they have been extinguished. Although the reactor containment building at Unit 4 was damaged, the primary containment vessel remains intact.

At the Fukushima Daini site, all four reactors are safely shut down and cooling functions are being maintained.