[ RadSafe ] Latest NEI Update

Jeff Terry terryj at iit.edu
Tue Mar 15 22:17:03 CDT 2011

At 5:45 am, March 16, Japan Standard Time (4:45 pm EDT, March 15), a fire reignited at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi 4 reactor. The fire was extinguished after about two hours, TEPCO said. 

TEPCO was planning to battle the fire and provide additional water to cool used nuclear fuel with water dumped from helicopters, but abandoned the plan because a hole in the building's roof is not in close proximity of the used fuel pool.

The company may remove some panels from the top of the reactor containment buildings at reactors 5 and 6 in order to avert a possible buildup of hydrogen in the reactors. Hydrogen buildup caused explosions at reactors 1 and 3. 

All of the fuel rods had been moved from reactor 4 to the spent fuel pool due to the maintenance work. About one-third of the fuel rods in reactors 5 and 6 had been removed as part of maintenance and refueling activities. 

Seventy percent of the fuel rods Unit 1 and one-third in Unit 2 have been damaged, TEPCO said. The cooling water level in both units is being maintained.

Weather reports indicate that the wind at the Fukushima plant has shifted and is now blowing out to the Pacific.

An earthquake registering 6.1 on the Richter scale struck the Eastern Honshu region of Japan. Hamaoka nuclear plant, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the epicenter, continues to operate normally.

Jeff Terry
Asst. Professor of Physics
Life Science Bldg Rm 166
Illinois Institute of Technology
3101 S. Dearborn St. 
Chicago IL 60616
terryj at iit.edu

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