Power reconnected to Japan's nuke reactors

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pretoria - Power has been reconnected to all six reactors at Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The lighting in the control room for the No. 3 reactor was restored on Tuesday, making it possible for more intensive work to restore the reactors' key cooling functions.

The No. 3 reactor was the last among six reactors to be connected to an external power supply, following the No. 4 reactor, which was connected in the morning.

The reactors being set to receive power from independent sources is a critical first step towards the reactors' cooling systems working autonomously, according to the plant's operator known as TEPCO.

Efforts to cool down spent fuel pools also resumed Tuesday afternoon and firefighters sprayed tons of water onto the spent nuclear fuel pool at the No. 3 reactor.

The spokesman of the government's nuclear safety agency, Hidehiko Nishiyama, told a press conference in the afternoon that it is unlikely that the situation would worsen and develop into a critical "meltdown."

The Tokyo Electric has been battling to get the six reactors at the plant back online following the March 11 magnitude 9.0 mega quake and tsunami that knocked out the plant's critical cooling systems and led to partial meltdowns of some of the reactors' cores.

The nuclear crisis in Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant "is the first time a nuclear crisis was triggered by an earthquake," according to L.S. Chan, professor of science of Hong Kong University.