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The lights finally came on in the central control room of the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant Tuesday night after the electricity supply was restored.
On Wednesday morning, workers began trying to activate additional pumps to help flood storage pools for spent fuel rod at the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors with fresh water.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the nuclear plant which was devastated by the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami, said supplying power to some meters and gauges in the central control room of the No. 1 reactor showed the temperature inside the reactor was 100 C higher than its design allowed for.
TEPCO said electricity reached the No. 3 reactor Tuesday night, enabling the utility to turn on lights and some instruments and collect various data.
The firm said a temporary pump sending seawater into the No. 3 reactor core would be replaced by a different pump, which would send in fresh water, by Thursday.
On Wednesday morning, workers suspended some of their efforts at the No. 2 reactor because of high radiation levels at the turbine building, where they had planned to try to connect an external power cable, TEPCO said.
TEPCO is also looking into whether a temporary pump could be powered with external electricity to pour water directly into a spent fuel rod pool at the No. 4 reactor, which has also been cooled down with sprayed water.
TEPCO is exploring the feasibility of using the central control room of the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors as a base for workers to repair and maintain a battery charger room in the facility's basement that provides power to the reactor's control system.
TEPCO would cover the room's walls with lead plates to shield the interiors from high amounts of radiation.
The central control room of the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors is located on the second floor of the central control building, between the reactors' turbine buildings. Precise details of its location are not disclosed, as a security measure against terrorism.
The workers would also check pumps and electrical systems at the reactor buildings, located just west of the turbine buildings.
Under normal circumstances, each control room is staffed around the clock by 11 workers on a two-shift system.
TEPCO said it succeeded between Tuesday night and early Wednesday in supplying electricity to meters and gauges at the Nos. 1, 3 and 4 reactors to collect various data.
Consequently, they found the internal temperature of the No. 1 reactor was rising sharply. To cool it down, they increased the amount of water poured into the reactor to 18 tons per hour.
At 6 a.m. Wednesday, the internal temperature of the No. 1 reactor was in excess of 400 C, much higher than the 302 C intended by its design, but it declined slowly to reach 390 C as of 10 a.m.
The company said fuel rods' temperature had apparently risen after being exposed to the air after the water level in the reactor fell
Last week, there was panic in China after rumors spread about dangerous levels of Japanese radiation reaching the country. It was rumored that iodized salt could protect people from radiation, so there was a huge rush on every store that sold salt.
China’s latest billionaire has acquired his new-found wealth practically overnight; in 2003, Lu’s salt-and-vinegar business sold out of every range of vinegar stocked, after locals became convinced the condiment provided protection from the SARS virus.
Lu invested all the family money in huge quantities of salt and vinegar, but by then, the crisis had passed and the vinegar craze was over.
“I was on a stopover in London and very hungry,” Lu recalled the origins of his unexpected success story. “The only thing I could buy at that hour were a traditional English delicacy: salt-and-vinegar crisps.’”
Lu was quickly hooked. He dropped out of college in 2002 and formed a business promoting the dish – but found fellow Chinese didn’t share his passion. Until last week, business for Lu’s ingredients was almost non-existent and Lu faced bankruptcy– but on Tuesday, trade began to pick up sharply.
By the weekend, Lu had sold the company to a Hebei-based conglomerate for a billion-dollar figure, invested in several coal mines, blown a million yuan on a Charlie Sheen-themed KTV-and-mahjong bender and established himself as a serious player in China’s burgeoning art market.
Radiation could affect people outside 30km zone (emphasis mine)
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says computer forecasts show that radiation leaking from a nuclear plant could pose a hazard to people outside its 30-kilometer zone. Edano said at a news conference on Wednesday that a computer forecast system has shown that radiation levels in some areas outside the 30-kilometer zone would exceed 100 millisieverts, which is the level that could affect the human thyroid if a person is exposed to it outdoors for 24 hours.
3 – 6 Sv (3000 – 6000 mSv): Severe nausea, loss of appetite; hemorrhaging, infection, diarrhea, peeling of skin, sterility; death if untreated.
NHK : Edano: Two workers exposed to radiation at #Fukushima and later hospitalised had stepped into contaminated water.
NISA: 2 hospitalized #Fukushima-1 workers have beta ray burns. #Japan
On Wednesday morning, the plant operator detected radioactive iodine-131 at a level 147 times higher than safety standards at a location 330 meters away from a water outlet of the facility.
The substance measured 127 times above the standard on Monday, when the first survey was conducted. The reading dropped the following day to 30 times over the benchmark.
Wednesday's survey also found higher-than-standard doses of radioactive cesium-134 and cesium-137.
Originally posted by 00nunya00
Hope you guys got all the data you wanted off of the EPA RadNet site----because it's all been scrubbed down to elementary school level now. If you like pretty colors, that site is for you now! If you like data-----especially the query function of past data-----you're SOL.
Originally posted by Mianeye
Workers have diffused the situation somewhat in recent days by pumping seawater into the reactors, preventing what was close to becoming a serious nuclear disaster.
Even though black smoke was seen coming out of the plant’s third reactor, the government claims the situation is not serious.
Originally posted by UnixFE
reply to post by cripmeister
Regarding the 'faked' (showing an archived photo) control room picture there is one thing I noticed. If you look at all the footage taken in the last days (photo and video) it appears that they are all unfocused and a bit muddy due to the radiation affecting the sensors. I guess that CCDs are affected by the high radiation levels there. Maybe someone with more knowledge about radiation/CCDs can confirm this?
If you look at the photo of control room 3&4 you can clearly see the haze in the image. The photo of control room 1&2 is pretty clear so my guess is that there was no radiation present as they took the photo. Just another hint that this photo is taken bevor the event not to mention the very tidy room after an earthquake hit.
Two of three workers who were laying cable at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Thursday were exposed to high-level radiation and were hospitalized due to injuries to their feet, the nuclear safety agency and the plant operator said.
The three male workers were exposed to radiation amounting to 173 to 180 millisievert at around 12:10 p.m. while laying cable underground at the No. 3 reactor's turbine building. The two workers of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s affiliated firm had their feet under water while carrying out the work, according to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
The two, who were diagnosed as having sustained beta ray burn injuries at a Fukushima hospital, will later be sent to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba Prefecture, the agency said.
TEPCO said radioactive water may have seeped through their radiation protective gear. The injuries are caused by direct exposure to beta rays, the utility added.
The level is lower than the maximum limit of 250 millisievert per year set by the health ministry for workers tackling the ongoing emergency at the Fukushima plant.
So far, one worker who was injured following a hydrogen explosion at the No. 3 reactor on March 14 was found to have been exposed to radiation amounting to over 150 millisievert.
The government is reviewing whether to continue its current directive for people living 20 to 30 kilometers away from a troubled nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture to remain indoors, with an eye on possibly recommending they relocate further away to make their everyday life easier over the long term, the top government spokesman indicated Thursday.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano noted in a news conference that reconsidering the directive does not mean the risk of radiation leaks from the plant is increasing.
''We are reviewing whether people can continue living under the current conditions,'' Edano said.
People within the 20 to 30 km range have been inconvenienced by increasingly limited goods available for living such as gasoline and foods, as trucking companies are shunning the government-designated area.
Edano noted that people in the area have been getting supplies from the Self-Defense Force troops.
After the catastrophic March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and caused radiation leaks, directives were issued for people living in a 20-kilometer radius of the plant to evacuate and those in the 20-30 km range to stay indoors.
Edano emphasized that a revised order of this kind must be dealt with cautiously so as not to create a misperception that danger from the radiation leaks is spreading.