Engineers checking Japan reactor systems: operatorOsaka (AFP) March 20, 2011 - Engineers at Japan's stricken nuclear plant were checking the cooling and other systems at reactor No. 2 late Sunday, aiming to restore the power soon, operator TEPCO said. An external electricity supply has been restored to the distributor but power at the reactor unit was not yet back, spokesman Naohiro Omura said. "It will take more time. It's not clear when we can try to restore the systems," he said. The cooling systems -- designed to protect the Fukushima plant's six reactors from a potentially disastrous meltdown -- were knocked out by the March 11 tsunami, and engineers have been battling rising temperatures.
The radiation-suited crews were striving to restore electricity to the ageing facility 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, after extending a high-voltage cable into the site from the national grid. The electricity line into the No. 2 reactor usually also feeds power to the No. 1 reactor. Fire engines have also been spraying seawater on the reactors and fuel rod pools, where overheating is a major concern. "Our desperate efforts to prevent the situation worsening are making certain progress," said government spokesman Yukio Edano. "But we must not underestimate this situation, and we are not being optimistic that things will suddenly improve," he told a news conference.
Osaka, Japan (AFP) March 20, 2011 Japan's top government spokesman on Sunday signalled that the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant at the centre of an ongoing crisis following a series of explosions would be scrapped. The reactor cooling systems at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, located 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, were crippled by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan's northeast coast on March 11.
A series of explosions and fires followed. Crews and emergency personnel have since worked around the clock to try to bring the temperatures down to avert a potentially catastrophic meltdown.
"As the government has (nuclear energy) authorities, it's difficult for me to say anything definite before following the appropriate procedures," the spokesman, Yukio Edano, told reporters.
"Looking at the plant from an objective point of view, I think it's clear in a way if the Fukushima Daiichi (No. 1) plant is in a state of being able to function or not," he said.
"I hope you can get it from the way I said it."