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FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR ACCIDENT UPDATE (17 March 2011, 16:55 UTC) - Clarified
Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that engineers
were able have begun to lay an external grid power line cable to Unit 2. The operation was completed at 08:30 UTC. The operation was continuing as of 20:30 UTC, Tokyo Electric Power Company officials told the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
They plan to reconnect power to Unit 2 once the spraying of water on the Unit 3 reactor building is completed.
The spraying of water on the Unit 3 reactor building was temporarily stopped at 11:09 UTC (20:09 local time) of 17 March.
The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.
→ Technical Briefing on Situation in Japan
→ Watch Video: IAEA Teams Assist Japan in Monitoring Radiation from Fukushima, 28 April 2011
At the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Graham Andrew, Special Adviser to the IAEA Director General on Scientific and Technical Affairs, briefed both Member States and the media on the current status of nuclear safety in Japan.
1. Current Situation
The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants remains very serious, but there has been no significant worsening since yesterday.
The current situation at Units 1, 2 and 3, whose cores have suffered damage, appears to be relatively stable. Sea water is being injected into all three Units using fire extinguishing hoses. Containment pressures are fluctuating.
Military helicopters carried out four water drops over Unit 3.
Unit 4 remains a major safety concern. No information is available on the level of water in the spent fuel pool. No water temperature indication from the Unit 4 spent fuel pool has been received since 14 March, when the temperature was 84 °C. No roof is in place.
The water levels in the reactor pressure vessels of Units 5 and 6 have been declining.
2. Radiation Monitoring
We are now receiving dose rate information from 47 Japanese cities regularly. This is a positive development. In Tokyo, there has been no significant change in radiation levels since yesterday. They remain well below levels which are dangerous to human health.
As far as on-site radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants are concerned, we have received no new information since the last report.
In some locations at around 30 km from the Fukushima plant, the dose rates rose significantly in the last 24 hours (in one location from 80 to 170 microsievert per hour and in another from 26 to 95 microsievert per hour). But this was not the case at all locations at this distance from the plants.
Dose rates to the north-west of the nuclear power plants, were observed in the range 3 to 170 microsievert per hour, with the higher levels observed around 30 km from the plant.
Dose rates in other directions are in the 1 to 5 microsievert per hour range.
3. Agency Activities
The Director General, who is now on his way to Japan, had another conversation with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. The UN Secretary-General pledged all possible support for the Agency's efforts.
The Director General also met the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Tibor Toth, to discuss the possibility of the Agency gaining access to data collected by CTBTO radionuclide monitoring stations.
A written request has been made to CTBTO. We believe the additional data and information could assist the Agency in our assessment of the evolving situation in Japan.
A specialist from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) joined our team in the Incident and Emergency Centre earlier this week, providing expert advice on the possible trajectories of winds from the area of the power plants.
Based on a press release from the Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary dated 17 March 2011, 04:00 UTC, the IAEA can confirm that the Japanese military carried out four helicopter water droppings over the building of reactor Unit 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
According to the press release, the droppings took place between 00:48 UTC and 01:00 UTC.
FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR ACCIDENT UPDATE (17 March 2011, 01:15 UTC)
Injuries or Contamination at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
Based on a press release from the Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary dated 16 March 2011, the IAEA can confirm the following information about human injuries or contamination at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Please note that this list provides a snapshot of the latest information made available to the IAEA by Japanese authorities. Given the fluid situation at the plant, this information is subject to change.
- 2 TEPCO employees have minor injuries;
- 2 subcontractor employees are injured, one person suffered broken legs and one person whose condition is unknown was transported to the hospital;
- 2 people are missing;
- 2 people were "suddenly taken ill";
- 2 TEPCO employees were transported to hospital during the time of donning respiratory protection in the control centre;
- 4 people (2 TEPCO employees, 2 subcontractor employees) sustained minor injuries due to the explosion at Unit 1 on 11 March and were transported to the hospital; and
- 11 people (4 TEPCO employees, 3 subcontractor employees and 4 Japanese civil defense workers) were injured due to the explosion at Unit 3 on 14 March.
- 17 people (9 TEPCO employees, 8 subcontractor employees) suffered from deposition of radioactive material to their faces, but were not taken to the hospital because of low levels of exposure;
- One worker suffered from significant exposure during "vent work," and was transported to an offsite center;
- 2 policemen who were exposed to radiation were decontaminated; and
- Firemen who were exposed to radiation are under investigation.
The IAEA continues to seek information from Japanese authorities about all aspects of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.