- Reactor #1 water temperatures have dropped considerably since Wednesday, with feedwater nozzle temperature of 137 oC and RPV bottom head at 113 oC. Temperatures on reactor’s 2 & 3 have also decreased, but only a few degrees Celsius for each. Pressures in all three RPVs have not noticeably changed. The primary containment pressures have also not changed since Wednesday.
- The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports that Fukushima Daiichi is “static but fragile”. (NHK News) The NRC roughly agrees with TEPCO on the extent of fuel damage within the three afflicted reactors; ~67% for #1, 30% for #2, and 25% for #3.
- MEXT reports that all but two of their seawater sampling locations are now below health standards for I-131. Six locations show no detectable I-131, and two locations west and southwest show levels slightly above the 0.04 Becquerels/cc standard. The remaining two show detectable I-131, but below the health standard concentration. TEPCO reported that all near-shore and 15-kilometer sea sampling points are now below 1 Becquerel/cc, however all but two are still above the health standard. The two northern-most sampling locations of TEPCO show no detectable I-131.
- TEPCO has estimated that the now-infamous power cabling tunnel leak in early April released 520 tons of contaminated water to the sea. The total activity released is estimated to have been 5×1015 becquerels. (a thousand-million-million)
- Japan imposed a no-entry restriction midnight Thursday prohibiting residents from remaining within a 20-kilometer radius of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant “to enhance control of evacuees amid continued fears of radiation leaks.” (Kyodo News) However, the restrictions to access are not quite as bad as many western Press claims. NISA reports families that need to return to their homes for clothing and other necessities need only get permission from either their city’s or town’s mayor, or head of village. A total ban on access will be enforced for the 3 km. radius, some other specific locations with high airborne contamination levels, and/or those areas devastated by the tsunami where public health risk is considered to be great. Chief government spokesman Yukio Edano said, “We have been asking residents not to enter the area as there is a huge risk to their safety. Unfortunately, there are still some people in the areas.” (NHK News)
- IAEA also reports a similar mandatory no-entry zone for an 8 kilometer radius surrounding Fukushima Daini. IAEA quotes Edano as saying, “The size of the evacuation zone around the station would be reduced from 10 km to 8 km,” and that “the order to evacuate based on the incident at Fukushima Daini nuclear power station would be lifted from areas farther than 8 km around the station.”
Why was there an evacuation zone around the Daini power complex anyway? Their emergency power systems worked as they were supposed to work, and there has not been a loss of cooling to any of the four reactors and spent fuel pools. On one hand, the Japanese government needlessly enforces fear of radiation on Daini, then admonishes the world for using fear of radiation to hurt Japanese trade. (see below)
- NHK News reports that Japan has asked the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to stop other countries from curbing imports from Japan based on unrealistic and unscientific fears of radiation. Japan believes some countries are using their citizen’s fear of radiation as a way to promote “protectionist measures” of their own industries. The government feels it’s OK to needlessly keep their own citizens from their homes due to fear of radiation, but it’s not OK for the rest of the world to use fear of radiation against Japanese trade.
- Of the 103 most recent results for foodstuff contamination, 99 were found to either have no contamination or levels of Iodine and Cesium below health standards, including several from Fukushima Prefecture. Four leafy vegetable samples taken inside Fukushima Prefecture on April 18 were found to be below the I-131 standard, but slightly above the Cs-134/137 standard. Clearly, things are getting relatively safe around Fukushima, so where is Mr. Edano’s huge risk?
- Notorious international nuclear naysayers and prophets of nuclear energy doom, Greenpeace, announce that their “flagship”, Rainbow Warrior II, is on its way to sample the fish off Fukushima Daiichi. “It is critical that independent testing is undertaken, in order to assess the true extent of the contamination and the possible impacts on public health and the food web,” said Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Executive Director.
The true extent of the contamination…right…the same people who’s “true extent” methods supposedly prove that thousands of Europeans die each year from phantom Chernobyl cancers.