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Evening Report

From NEI’s Japan Earthquake launch page:

UPDATE AS OF 7 PM EDT, MARCH 22:

Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported this afternoon (U.S. time) that it has restored electricity to the control room at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor 3. Lights in the control room were switched on for the first time since the earthquake 11 days ago. Electricity to the reactor 4 control room is expected to be restored shortly.

Power restoration to the control rooms will help technicians as they seek to repair the two reactors’ cooling systems. Workers are seeking to reactivate control room monitoring systems for reactor parameters, such as reactor coolant temperatures and water levels. The company also reported that thermometers at reactors 1, 2 and 3 are working again.

TEPCO said it would try to reactivate a cooling pump for reactor 3 later today or Wednesday (U.S. time). The company said that if the pump functions normally, it could begin cooling the reactor and the spent fuel storage pool.

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant also continued to spray water into the used fuel pools of reactors 3 and 4. A 160-foot long extension arm normally used to pour concrete for high-rise buildings was used to more accurately spray water into the used fuel pool area of reactor 4. Workers also pumped 18 tons of seawater into the reactor 2 used fuel pool.

Japan's health ministry says it detected radioactive iodine levels in tap water above the national safety standard for infants at five locations in Fukushima Prefecture. The agency says the water does not pose an immediate risk to infants, but is advising against consumption of the water or adding water to powdered milk for infants.

Elevated levels of radioactive iodine and cesium were detected in soil about 25 miles from Fukushima Daiichi, but the levels do not pose a health risk, according to Japan’s science ministry.

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