No. 41: 18:00, April 3
NHK news regarding status of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station
yesterday and today.
●Checkups find no problems in children's thyroid
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has said that recent checkups have found no problems in the thyroid of children in the area near the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Edano announced the finding at a news conference on Sunday. 900 children from newborns to those of 15 in Kawamata Town and Iitate Village in Fukushima Prefecture underwent tests for radiation exposure to their thyroid glands for 3 days through last Wednesday. He said none of them had exposure readings
exceeding the safety level. Sunday, April 03, 2011 16:02 +0900 (JST)
●TEPCO to stop radioactive water leak from plant
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will start injecting water-absorbing polymers into a cracked pit to stop radioactive water from leaking into the ocean. Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says it will start the emergency operation on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday, TEPCO found radioactive water was seeping into the ocean from a crack in a concrete pit that contains power cables near the Number 2 reactor's water intake. The level of radiation on the surface of the pit's water was measured at over 1,000 milisieverts per hour. An attempt to pour concrete into the pit, connected to the turbine building, failed to fix the leak on Saturday.
TEPCO hopes to collect overflowing water into a tank and other facilities in the complex. The radioactive intensity of water in the reactor's turbine building was about 100,000 times that of water inside a normally operating reactor. Water in a tunnel outside the turbine building also had high levels of radiation.
TEPCO says it has not detected water leaking from the pits of other reactors and is checking other locations. The company added that it began reducing the amount of water being injected into the Number 1 and 2 buildings to cool their reactors on Saturday night, saying temperatures and pressures there had stabilized.
Sunday, April 03, 2011 14:50 +0900 (JST)
●PM advisor: effort to stop radioactive leakage
An advisor to the prime minister has pledged an all-out effort to contain the leakage of radioactive substances from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex within a few months. Goshi Hosono told reporters on Sunday that environmental contamination caused by the leakage of highly radioactive water from the damaged plant to the ocean is very serious. Hosono said it is urgent to assess the impact of the leakage on the sea and assured that the results will be made public. The prime ministerial aide also said that the large amount of radioactive water which accumulated in the basement of the Number 2 reactor's turbine building must be removed as soon as possible. Hosono said the deepest concern for residents is when the radioactive leakage from the plant will end. He said the crisis at the plant has been continuing, but the situation is stabilizing. He added that the main task for now should shift to halting the leakage of
radioactive elements within a few months.
Sunday, April 03, 2011 12:50 +0900 (JST)
●Radioactive levels measured within 20km of plant
The Japanese government and the operator of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant have started to gauge radioactive levels in the air within a 20 kilometer radius of the plant. The government and Tokyo Electric Power Company have already been measuring radioactivity in the air outside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone that residents have been instructed to leave. But they have not conducted any detailed assessments within the zone, saying that most residents have already evacuated the area and that there would be an increased risk of workers conducting the tests being exposed to radiation. At a meeting of Japanese and US nuclear experts, the US side claimed more research is needed to determine the extent at which radioactive substances are spreading. After the gathering, the Japanese government and the power company began studying radioactive levels in the air at about 30 locations inside the exclusion zone.
Sunday, April 03, 2011 05:46 +0900 (JST)
●Radioactive water continues to leak into sea
Highly radioactive water continues to leak into the sea through a crack in a pit at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, despite ongoing work to pour concrete into the pit to stop the leakage. The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, found water between 10 and 20 centimeters deep in the pit on Saturday morning. The pit is located near the water intake of the No.2 reactor and contains power cables. The surface of the water in the pit was found to have a radiation level of over 1,000 milisieverts per hour. To fill in the crack in the pit, the utility firm began pouring in concrete at 4:30 PM on Saturday. But even more than 6 hours later, the amount of water flowing into the pit was so large that the injected concrete had not solidified yet, allowing radioactive water to leak into the ocean. The power company will try other measures on Sunday morning to stop water from entering the pit. It will use a particular kind of polymer which will absorb the water.
The power firm says the pit is connected to the trench of the No.2 reactor's turbine building. Last Sunday, the radioactive density of water in the reactor's turbine building was found to be about 100,000 times higher than the normal level. A high concentration of radioactive elements was also found in puddles in the trench. Analysis on Saturday showed that the radioactive density of the water in the pit was around 10,000 times above the usual level. On Saturday, the firm expanded its study of the radioactive level of seawater by analyzing samples collected about 15 kilometers from the plant in addition to samples taken near the Daiichi and Daini plants. The Daini plant sits about 10 kilometers south of the crippled Daiichi plant.
Sunday, April 03, 2011 01:41 +0900 (JST)
●Efforts to remove radioactive water stepped up
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is stepping up efforts to remove radioactive water that has been hindering its attempts to contain the ongoing problem at the power plant. Tokyo Electric Power Company is trying to remove contaminated water from the basements of the turbine buildings of the No.1, 2, and 3 reactors.
TEPCO hopes to move the radioactive water into storage tanks in the turbine condenser. But before that can be done, work began on Saturday to empty the storage tanks at the No. 2 reactor. TEPCO has been attempting to recover the reactors' cooling systems. It has been injecting seawater in order to prevent the reactors from overheating caused by the nuclear fuel. But it decided to use fresh water instead because seawater is corrosive. On Saturday morning, a docked US military barge began pumping fresh water to cool the reactors. Another US barge carrying about 1,300 tons of fresh water has
arrived at the site.
8 monitoring posts to measure radiation levels on the border of the compound started functioning again on Friday for the first time since the quake struck 3 weeks ago. However, as the automatic data transmission system is still out of order, workers will make daily visits to collect the radiation data which TEPCO will then post on its website.
Workers are also testing the spraying of synthetic resin in areas around the reactors in the hope that it will contain radioactive materials released by the hydrogen blasts.
Saturday, April 02, 2011 21:13 +0900 (JST)
●Tap water safe again
Japan's health ministry says test results of tap water show that radiation levels are within safety standards in all municipalities.
However, the village of Ii-tate in Fukushima Prefecture near the disabled nuclear power plant says the situation will have to be monitored for some time. It's calling on residents not to give tap water to infants as a precaution. On Friday, Iitate lifted restrictions on tap water consumption. According to the ministry, 965 becquerels of radioactive Iodine-131 was detected in tap water in Ii-tate Village on March 20th. The reading was about 3 times the national safety standard of 300 becquerels per liter. However, the measurements fell well below the legal standard at all checkpoints from March 29th.
At all the checkpoints in Fukushima Prefecture, the radioactive Iodine readings are now below the benchmark of 100 becquerels per liter for infants.All municipalities in the Kanto-Koshin-etsu regions including Tokyo had lifted a ban on tap-water consumption by March 27th. None of the municipalities has imposed any additional restrictions.Saturday, April 02, 2011 21:13 +0900 (JST)