Temperatures rise in Fukushima fuel pools after nearly 20 hours without power — Crews “scrambling” to fix problems — Tepco placing “highest priority” on Unit 4

Published: March 19th, 2013 at 2:00 am ET
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Update via EXSKF, 2:36a ET: Cooling of Reactor 1 SFP Resumed

Associated Press, 2:29a ET: Four fuel storage pools at Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant have been without fresh cooling water for nearly 20 hours [...] TEPCO workers were scrambling to find the cause and repair the problems. [...] TEPCO, which has repeatedly faced cover-up scandals, was already slammed by local media Tuesday for waiting hours to disclose the blackout. [TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono] acknowledged the plant was vulnerable. “Fukushima Dai-ichi still runs on makeshift equipment, and we are trying to switch to something more permanent and dependable, which is more desirable,” he said. “Considering the equipment situation, we may be pushing a little too hard.” [...]

Kyodo News, 12:42a ET: Fukushima nuclear plant’s fuel pool cooling system still suspended [...] TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono said it is placing the “highest priority” on restoring the cooling system of the spent fuel pool located atop the No. 4 reactor building, as the number of fuel assemblies stored in the tank is larger than the heavily damaged Nos. 1, 2 and 3 units.

NHK, 12:06a ET: Crews trying to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are scrambling at this hour to fix a new problem. The system used to cool spent fuel malfunctioned. Workers say a power blackout caused the failure.

JIJI PRESS: 9 Facilities, including Cooling Systems, Hit by Fukushima N-Plant Power Loss

AP: The command centre at the plant suffered a brief power outage before 7pm [6am ET] on Monday. Electricity was quickly restored to the command centre but not to equipment pumping water into the fuel pools.

AP: The spent-fuel pool for reactor 4, which contains spent and new fuel rods, had risen to 30.5 degrees as of 10 a.m. Tuesday from 25 degrees before the power outage. A common pool storing spent fuel for all reactors was at 28.6 degrees, while the reactor 1 pool was at 17.1 degrees and reactor 3 was at 15.9 degrees.

AFP: TEPCO said [...] while engineers did not yet know the cause, there was no immediate danger at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Japan Times: Takashi Haga, a 49-year-old office worker in the city, appeared surprised by the latest incident. “It revived the memory of the nuclear accident two years ago,” Haga said. “I thought it was under control.”

Watch NHK’s broadcast here

Published: March 19th, 2013 at 2:00 am ET
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