Cooling pools holding spent-fuel rods atop the plant’s six reactors were below 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit), the boiling point of water, Japan Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said last night in a news conference. The company said it needs to replace power components at reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4.
No. 1: The temperature outside the reactor’s pressure vessel fell to 385 degrees Celsius, as of 3 a.m. from 400 degrees as of 3 a.m. yesterday, Hikaru Kuroda, an official in Tokyo Electric’s nuclear management department, said today. The reactor was damaged on March 12 by a hydrogen explosion that destroyed the building’s walls. The reactor is rated level five in terms of threat on an international scale of 1-7.
No. 2: The temperature outside the reactor’s pressure vessel fell below 160 degrees Celsius, as of 3 a.m., Kuroda said. Workers reconnected a 1.5-kilometer (1 mile) power cable on March 19 to the unit. A March 15 explosion may have damaged the containment chamber. The reactor is rated a level-five threat.
No. 3: Smoke was seen rising from the building of the reactor at about 3:55 p.m. local time. Workers were evacuated from the building, spokesman Kaoru Yoshida said. Workers connected a power cable to the No. 3 and 4 reactors. The temperature inside the reactor dropped below 200 degrees Celsius, the Fukushima plant operator said earlier today. The Japanese Self Defense Force and firefighters have doused a total of 3,742 metric tons of water on the reactor since March 17, the government agency said in a statement. A March 14 explosion damaged the unit’s fuel cover. The reactor is rated a level-five threat.
No. 4: Japanese Self Defense Forces have sprayed a total of 255 tons of water toward the reactor building since yesterday. A fire broke out in the pond containing spent-fuel rods. The nuclear agency said March 17 there may be no water in the cooling pool. It’s rated four in terms of threat. This reactor was undergoing maintenance when the earthquake hit.
No. 5: The reactor achieved cold shutdown at 2:30 p.m. local time yesterday when the temperature fell below 100 degrees Celsius yesterday, Megumi Iwashita, Tepco spokeswoman, said. The unit was idle for maintenance before the earthquake.
No. 6: The reactor achieved cold shutdown at 7:27 p.m. when the temperature fell below 100 degrees Celsius yesterday, Iwashita said. A backup generator was fixed March 19, according to a company press release. The unit was idle for maintenance before the earthquake.
To contact the reporter on this story: Naoko Fujimura in Osaka at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Longid at email@example.com