March 19, 2011

At Last! Some Good News From Japan Power Restored to Power Plant

I'm sure there is a lot of damage and it will take time to make use of the power but the switch is on.


Engineers at a stricken nuclear plant in Japan managed to connect an electricity cable to one of the reactors Saturday and battled to restore power to the cooling system to avert a full-blown meltdown.

The announcement offered some hope of a breakthrough in efforts to prevent a major radiation leak from the troubled facility, although it is not yet clear whether the cooling system will work properly even if the power comes back on.

The government meanwhile said it had discovered abnormal levels of radiation that exceeded the legal limit in milk and spinach from areas near the stricken plant, but they posed no immediate threat to humans.

Electricity was expected to be restored to reactor No. 2 at the Fukushima plant on Sunday, more than a week after it was rocked by a massive earthquake and tsunami, the nuclear safety agency said.

"The line itself was connected to the reactor No. 2 but electricity has not been restored yet," said agency spokesman Fumiaki Hayakawa. Related article: Nuclear fears compound misery of Japan survivors

"If the power is turned on without checks it may malfunction. They are checking the facility now. If no problem is found at the facility today, the power will resume as early as tomorrow (Sunday)."

Reactor No. 1 usually shares the same electricity line so the cable could in theory restore power to both units.

After that, engineers will start laying cables to the other four reactors -- a complicated operation that is taking longer than initially expected.

Once power is back up, the radiation-suited Fukushima engineers hope they can get vital cooling systems online. In the meantime, they have been dumping water by hose and by air on the reactors to cool the fuel rods.

"Although we are doing our best, unfortunately we cannot say when electricity will be restored," said a TEPCO official.

Well that's not all good but I'll take it. Lets hope this becomes a streak for the Japanese.

Update: CNN also reports that an unmanned fire hose thingy was put in place to get a continuous flow of water on the #3 reactor.

By Howie at 07:41 AM | Comments |