Japanese nuclear officials reported that temperatures have been lowered at the troubled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as emergency workers continue to try to stabilize the facility to prevent the release of dangerous radioactive materials.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the plant’s No. 3 reactor unit – the primary focus of local workers -- has probably become relatively stable after firemen dumped sixty tons of water upon an overheating spent fuel pool at the unit just after midnight.
“We’re trying to get things under control, but we’re still in an unpredictable situation,’’ Edano said.
Separately, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa declared that the surface temperatures at the No. 1 to No. 4 reactors were measured 100=degrees Centigrade or lower by a government helicopter, suggesting conditions have become somewhat stabilized.
He added that Prime Minister Naoto Kan instructed the Defense Ministry to keep monitoring the plant.
Also, the site’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., said it connected electric power cables to the No. 1 and No. 2 reactor buildings, enabling it to make checks on the equipment and reactivate coolant systems – a crucial step in preventing any further damage to the reactors.
Workers are now planning to throw huge amounts of water onto the No. 4 reactor to cool down its spent fuel pool as well, Edano added.
In addition, a water circulation system at the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors has made it possible to cool down spent fuel in the storage pools, after an emergency power generator was installed early Saturday -- the temperature then fell to 67.6 C from 68.8 C in four hours.