Below is an update of the latest developments in the Japanese reactors. The crisis-situation continues, but the information coming out after this morning is limited.
We've also created a Fukushima briefing page to answer some of the most common questions we're hearing. As always, the best way to get breaking news from us is via the Greenpeace Twitter account.
Fukushima 1 Update
15 march 2011 18h30 Amsterdam / 16 march 2011 02h30 Tokyo
After the explosion of unit 2 and the fire in spent fuel pool of unit 4 this morning (Japanese time), the authorities did not release much much new information . The few fragments that did come out are showing that the crisis is still not under control:
• Higher temperatures were reported in the spent fuel pools of reactor 5 and 6 (in addition to the spent fuel pool in reactor 4) which shows that they have cooling problems there as well. These reactors were not in operation at the time of the earthquake but large amounts of highly radioactive spent fuel are stored in pools in the reactors.
• The spent fuel pool of reactor 4 is now cooled by fire fighters and they are planning to use a helicopter to drop water through the holes in the building - but only in the next few days. The water was reported to be boiling.
• TEPCO reports the water level at the unit 2 reactor is recovering smoothly. The suppression chamber is likely to have been damaged by this morning’s explosion, which means that the containment of unit 2 would be damaged.
• Units 1 and 3 are still cooled being cooled by seawater.
• The allowed dose for workers on the site was increased to 250 milliSv (normally 20 mSv per year) but still the radiation in the operator room is too high to allow workers in there. 50 workers remain on site, 750 have been evacuated after the explosion at unit 2 and fire at unit 4.
• ASN, the French safety authority, scaled the accident as INES 6 (“serious accident: significant release of radioactive material likely to require implementation of planned countermeasures”).