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Evening Report

From NEI’s Japan Earthquake launch page:

UPDATE AS OF 7:00 P.M. EDT, FRIDAY, MARCH 18:

Tokyo Electric Power Co. continued spraying water into the reactor 3 used fuel pool that began early Friday morning. Another water spraying operation into the pool was conducted around noon EDT. The company did not provide any updates on the status of the reactor 4 used fuel pool on Friday.

Operations to connect external power to reactors 1 and 2 are expected to continue through the weekend. TEPCO confirmed that electricity can be supplied to the reactors now that a new line has been connected from the off-site power system near the facility. Additional cabling and switchgear are being prepared to provide electricity to reactors 3, 4, 5 and 6.

TEPCO said it ”planned to supply electricity for recovery efforts reactor 2 first, followed by reactors 1, 3 and 4“ because reactor 2 is expected to be less damaged.” TEPCO plans to check pumps and other equipment and restore those items most vital to the cooling function.

No Radiation Levels of Concern in Western U.S.

The U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued a joint statement to confirm that the nationwide network of sensitive radiation monitoring equipment has detected no radiation levels of concern to U.S. citizens.

The EPA’s RadNet system notifies scientists in near real-time of elevated levels of radiation to enable them to determine whether protective actions are required. DOE’s IMS (International Monitoring System) operates as part of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and detects tiny quantities of radiation that may indicate an underground nuclear explosion anywhere in the world.

One of the DOE monitors in Sacramento, Calif., detected tiny quantities of a radioisotope (xenon-133). The level of the isotope detected would result in one-millionth of the dose rate that a person would normally receive from natural background sources.

More information is available at www.epa.gov/radiation.

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