Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log

Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update (14 March 2011, 22:03 UTC)

After the IAEA offered its "Good Offices" to Japan - i.e. making available the Agency's direct support and coordination of international assistance - the Japanese government yesterday asked the IAEA to provide expert missions to the country. Discussions have begun to prepare the details of those missions.

At a briefing for representatives of IAEA Member States held yesterday in Vienna, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano outlined some of the areas in which IAEA support could be provided to Japan.

"The IAEA can offer support in technical areas such as radiation surveys and environmental sampling, medical support, the recovery of missing or misplaced radioactive sources or advice on emergency response," he said.

In addition, the IAEA is coordinating assistance from Member States through the Response and Assistance Network (RANET). The network consists of nations that can offer specialized assistance after a radiation incident or emergency. Coordination by the IAEA takes place within the framework of the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.

The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.

At 16:45 UTC on 14 March 2011, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano briefed the media on the consequences of the twin natural disasters in Japan.

The press conference was opened by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, followed by comments from James Lyons, Director of the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety; Denis Flory, Deputy Director General for the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security; and Alena Buglova, acting Head of the Incident and Emergency Centre.

Director General Statement :: View Photos on Flickr :: View Video on YouTube

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Japanese authorities have reported to the IAEA that Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 has experienced decreasing coolant levels in the reactor core. Officials have begun to inject sea water into the reactor to maintain cooling of the reactor core.

Sea water injections into Units 1 and 3 were interrupted yesterday due to a low level in a sea water supply reservoir, but sea water injections have now been restored at both Units.

Evacuation Status

On 12 March, the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the evacuation of residents living within 10 kilometres of the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant and within 20 kilometres of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has reported that about 185 000 residents had been evacuated from the towns listed below as of 13 March 2011, 17:00 (JST).

Populations of Evacuated Towns Near Affected Nuclear Power Plants

Iodine Distribution

Japan has distributed 230 000 units of stable iodine to evacuation centres from the area around Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants, according to officials. The iodine has not yet been administered to residents; the distribution is a precautionary measure in the event that this is determined to be necessary.

The ingestion of stable iodine can help to prevent the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid.

Weather Forecast

In partnership with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the IAEA is continuing to monitor weather forecasts and is providing updates to Member States. Since the incident began, winds have been moving away from the Japanese coast to the East, and predictions call for the same patterns to persist for the next three days.

The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.

At the IAEA's Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) and at its International Seismological Safety Centre (ISSC), IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano received a briefing at 08:30 UTC.

The IAEA emergency management experts detailed the status of emergency communications with Japanese authorities, as well as with emergency management counterparts in other IAEA Member States and among international organizations.

Director General Amano was briefed as well on nuclear safety, seismological activity, and the on-going disaster recovery efforts in Japan. The video of the briefing is available here.

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has provided the IAEA with further information about the hydrogen explosion that occurred today at the Unit 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. A hydrogen explosion occurred at Unit 3 on 14 March at 11:01 am local Japan time.

All personnel at the site are accounted for. Six people have been injured.

The reactor building exploded but the primary containment vessel was not damaged. The control room of Unit 3 remains operational.

The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.

Based on information provided by Japanese authorities, the IAEA can confirm the following information about the status of Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 at Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.

All four Units automatically shut down on 11 March. All Units have off-site power and water levels in all Units are stable. Though preparations have been made to do so, there has been no venting to control pressure at any of the plant's Units.

At Unit 1, plant operators were able to restore a residual heat remover system, which is now being used to cool the reactor. Work is in progress to achieve a cold shutdown of the reactor.

Workers at Units 2 and 4 are working to restore residual heat removal systems.

Unit 3 is in a safe, cold shutdown.

Radiation dose rate measurements observed at four locations around the plant's perimeter over a 16-hour period on 13 March were all normal.

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has informed the IAEA that there has been an explosion at the Unit 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The explosion occurred at 11:01 am local Japan time.

The IAEA is seeking further information on this development.

Based on information provided by Japanese authorities, the IAEA can confirm the following information about the status of Units 1, 2 and 3 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Unit 1 is being powered by mobile power generators on site, and work continues to restore power to the plant. There is currently no power via off-site power supply or backup diesel generators being provided to the plant. Seawater and boron are being injected into the reactor vessel to cool the reactor. Due to the explosion on 12 March, the outer shell of the containment building has been lost.

Unit 2 is being powered by mobile power generators on site, and work continues to restore power to the plant. There is currently neither off-site power supply nor backup diesel generators providing power to the plant. The reactor core is being cooled through reactor core isolation cooling, a procedure used to remove heat from the core. The current reactor water level is lower than normal but remains steady. The outer shell of the containment building is intact at Unit 2.

Unit 3 does not have off-site power supply nor backup diesel generators providing power to the plant. As the high pressure injection system and other attempts to cool the reactor core have failed, injection of water and boron into the reactor vessel has commenced. Water levels inside the reactor vessel increased steadily for a certain amount of time but readings indicating the water level inside the pressure vessel are no longer showing an increase. The reason behind this is unknown at this point in time. To relieve pressure, venting of the containment started on 13 March at 9:20 am local Japan time. Planning is underway to reduce the concentration of hydrogen inside the containment building. The containment building is intact at Unit 3.

The IAEA is seeking information about the status of spent fuel at the Daiichi plant.

Related Resources

Last update: 12 November 2014