Nuclear Energy Institute: Clarification on Reactor situation

March 13, 2011

The Nuclear Energy Institute has posted some additional information on the current situation.

This helps to understand reports of several nuclear sites that are currently under emergency conditions.

UPDATE AS OF 8:30 A.M. EDT, SUNDAY, MARCH 13:

Tokyo Electric Power Co. continues to implement emergency cooling and pressure relief operations at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. In addition, at Fukushima Daini, three reactors remain shut down. They have electrical power available at Daini, but the suppression water pools used for reactor cooling are saturated at both sites.

Fukushima Daiichi: There is a state of emergency declared at Fukushima Daiichi 1, 2 and 3. The company is venting containment structures at reactors 1 and 3. Reactor 3 uses mixed-oxide fuel. Electrical power is not available at any of the reactors at this site and there is not backup power available at Units 1, 2 and 3. TEPCO has been pumping seawater into reactors 1 and 3 to maintain cooling and there is some uranium fuel rod damage suspected at both reactors. Public evacuation has been ordered and executed in a 12-mile radius and there have been low levels of radiation released into the environment as a result of venting and the explosion at Unit 1 secondary containment. The maximum reported dose at the site is 128 millirem per hour, which is less than the annual average dose for commercial airline flight crews and far less than the radiation the average American is exposed to per year from all sources (see the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Web page on radiation protection). One worker at the site has received a radiation dose of 10.6 rem.

Fukushima Daini: There is a state of emergency at Units 1, 2 and 4 and evacuation has been ordered and executed for 2.5 miles around the plant. There has been no radioactive release reported at the site. There is electric power available at all four reactors at the site, but there is limited use of cooling water pumps at Units 1, 2 and 4 due to damage from the tsunami. The suppression pools are saturated at all three reactors.

Comments from Japanese officials:
The company is providing seawater and boron for core cooling at Fukushima Daiichi units 1 and 3 and is venting containment at the reactors, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yukio Edano, said on Sunday. Officials are acting on the assumption that a meltdown could be underway at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3. “Unlike the No.1 reactor, we ventilated and injected water at an early stage,” Edano said.

Authorities are preparing to distribute iodine to protect people from radioactive exposure.

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