Saturday, March 19, 2011

authorities resume failing cooling operations


Video - Japan resumes cooling operations.

Xinhua | Japan's Self-Defense Force and firefighting personnel resumed shooting water over the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant on Saturday afternoon, in an effort to cool down the reactor and overheating spent fuel pools.
A spokesperson for Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the faltering Daiichi facility, said a total of 1,260 tons of water will be discharged over the next seven hours.

An unmanned vehicle with a 22-meter high platform was utilized in the efforts to avoid personnel coming into contact with excessive amounts of radiation.

The Tokyo Fire Department's special "hyper rescue team" also joined the SDF in spraying water to cool down the No. 3 reactor and the combined effort discharged 60 tons of water in 20 minutes, in the first phase of the operation on Saturday morning.

Efforts to cool the reactor were suspended as the TEPCO workers tried to reconnect electricity to the plant by using outside power sources.

TEPCO said Saturday that reconnection of the No. 2 reactor is expected to be completed during the day, but it may take some time before cooling devices can be reactivated as a lot of damage may have been caused to electrical systems when the tsunami hit the plant following Friday's 9.0 magnitude quake that struck the region.

The utility said that at the time of the quake, the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors at the Daiichi facility were the only ones operating and shutdown automatically as they are supposed to.

But due to lost cooling functions in the reactors some of the cores are believed to have partially melted.

The buildings housing the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 reactors have been severely damaged, TEPCO said and fuel pools in the reactors have been left uncovered.