Friday, March 18, 2011
Update: Japanese government announced testing outside of the 30 kilometer zone showed contaminated milk and spinach. Precise details aren't provided, but the milk level was said to provide an annual exposure level equivalent to 1 CAT scan. This becomes more serious when you consider the cumulative dosing from water, air, contact and local food. They are throwing everything they've got at cooling No 3 spent fuel pond and will try spraying at No 4's pond later today. The winds are supposed to shift more southerly over the weekend. Pressures and temps at reactors 5 & 6 are coming down or stable, water levels have risen over the last couple of days. Cables connected at two reactors. (I forgot - they bored holes in the buildings for 5 & 6 to vent hydrogen to avoid any further explosions. NHK is covering the contaminated food story. End update.
Among the other problems they are having at Daiichi, attrition of workers is going to get pretty rough. They raised the exposure limit to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts. TEPCO announced today that some workers have already reached the 100 millisieverts exposure.
Reported at NHK: At Reactor 1, 10 milliS. At Reactor 2, 15 milliS. They have the power cable out there (although they sure can't afford shorts or arcs!!) but they are obviously having trouble hooking it up and repairing equipment. That's time intensive. It sounds like the new rule is that when you get to 100 milliS in a day, you get pulled out. This is not the right way to solve the unemployment problem. (Update: no, according to this they booted it to 150 milliS per shift because too many workers were going over. But once you finish your shift you do not go back. The health ministry booted it up to 250 milliS; TEPCO was holding to the 100 milliS. )
Updates: JAIF. NISA. I was not enthused to read in update 31 that JAPCO showed up:
16:48 JAPCO reported to NISA Accidents and Failures with regard to Tokai Unit 2 (Failure of the seawater pump moter of the emergency diesel generator 2C) pursuant to the Paragraph 3, the Article 62 of the Nuclear Regulation Act.Hopefully they are getting another generator there pronto. '
Water spraying continues at Daiichi No 3 and sometimes at 1. It does not seem to be doing much. Steam continues to boil off on 3. White smoke continues to emerge from the blow-out panel on No 2. Temperatures at Nos 5 & 6 (cold shutdown) spent fuel ponds are still rising slowly, even though a backup diesel generator has been running supposedly alternately on both. Nos 5 & 6 reactor water levels are up. The update says they are injecting water into the reactor vessels and the spent fuel ponds since they got the backup generator running.
If you go to page 14 of the release, you see that they are now picking up more contaminated evacuees.
Note: It sounds like they are mounting a tremendous, all-out effort. They have manufacturer's engineers on site working in protective gear. They are evacuating the hospitals and nursing homes in the exclusion zone (20-30 km). Coverage of municipal governments pulling out.
***TEPCO reports that temp in Reactor 5 spent fuel pool drops. Trying to restore electricity.
***NHK briefly mentions that cement trucks are being sent. One hundred more firemen dumped into the breach; Toshiba has a lot of techs on site in protective gear.