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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Edano: "Situation improving"

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has made the statement, in the late afternoon hours (Tokyo time) Saturday that the overall situation at Fukushima Daiichi appears to be improving. Cooling of the spent fuel pools is proceeding as desired, and the situation is more stable -- ie, not changing as rapidly -- as before.

We mentioned that TEPCO has put holes in the roof of No. 5 and No. 6 plants, and have confirmed that they have intentionally breached the secondary containment of No. 2 plant in order to be able to vent it of hydrogen gas. Apparently, a long drill was used to bore holes in the containment.

At about 8:30 AM local time, or about a half hour ago, water spraying began at No. 4 plant to cool the spent fuel pool. This should last 7 hours and use about 1200 tons of water. The No. 3 operation just prior ran over 13 hours, and a number of other much more brief applications were made; see older posts.

Still no word on electric power at No. 2 plant. Many reports are opening with the headline "power back at two plants" or some such, but these are the old reports that there is power available at No. 5 and No. 6 plants for some uses. TEPCO is saying that it hopes to have some improvement vis a vis electrical distribution for operability of No. 2 plant Sunday.

8:00 PM Eastern Saturday 3/19

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