Authorities battling the nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex had some success, with reports two of the six reactors, the No. 5 and No. 6, went into cold shutdown on Sunday ; stopping safely with the temperature of the water inside them falling below 100 C.
According to Kyodo News, the two reactors went into a safe mode following restoration of cooling functions late Saturday, thanks to successful resumption of electricity supply.
Earlier in the day, and in a sign that the ongoing operation in restoring the reactors’ cooling functions is working, the defense ministry said that the temperatures of the pools at all six reactor units were below 100 C.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, who held a press conference in the afternoon, was however, coutious about the outlook, saying [via Kyodo News], ”There will be twists and turns even if the process to maintain the status quo and to improve the situation goes smoothly.”
Mr. Adano also indicated that the battered nuclear plant, which was stricken by the disasters of the devastating March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, is doomed to be scrapped.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S., Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the Obama administration believes the worst of the crisis is over. Reactor 2, where Tepco (Fukushima’s NPP operator) connected a 1 mile power cable March 18 as it tried to revive cooling systems knocked out by the magnitude – 9 temblor, is the main source of concern, Chu said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
[via Bloomberg] “Because of the higher levels of radiation there, we take that as evidence that there might be a breach in that containment vessel,” he said. “But they’re not extraordinarily high, so it appears if there is a breach, it would be a limited breach…”