Nuclear Energy Institute Update on Japan’s Nuclear Reactors, March 28, 2011 (7 PM EDT)

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–March 28, 2011 – UPDATE AS OF 7 P.M. EDT.  The International Atomic Energy Agency said that Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency is planning a meeting with Tokyo Electric Power Co. to determine the origin of contaminated water in the turbine buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Contaminated water from the basement floor of the reactor 1 turbine building is being pumped into its main condenser. At reactor 2 that process has not begun because the steam condenser is full, IAEA said. Pumping contaminated water is being considered at reactors 3 and 4.

Three workers who received radiation exposure from standing in contaminated water were released today from the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, where they had been under observation. The level of localized exposure received by two of the workers is between 200 to 300 rem, lower than the previous estimate of 200 to 600 rem, IAEA said.

Radiation Monitoring Continues
Results from ocean monitoring stations up to 18 miles off the shoreline from the Fukushima Daiichi plant showed levels of iodine-131 at most locations were below federal limits. IAEA said results from four monitoring stations on March 26 showed iodine-131 concentrations were between 162 and 486 picocuries (1 picocurie is one-trillionth of a curie) per liter. Cesium-137 concentrations ranged from below the level of detection up to 432 picocuries per liter.

IAEA said that it is still too early to draw conclusions for expected concentrations in marine food, because the situation can change rapidly.

The latest sampling shows that drinking water in Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures remain below the Japanese limits for the ingestion of drinking water by infants. Iodine-131 was reported in food samples taken from March 26 to March 27 in six prefectures (Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Niigata, Tochigi and Yamagata) in vegetables, strawberries and watermelon.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified trace amounts of radioactive isotopes at its 12 RadNet air monitor locations across the nation. The levels are extremely low and are far below levels that would be a public health concern. EPA’s samples were captured by monitors in Alaska, Alabama, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada and Washington state over the past week and sent to EPA scientists for detailed laboratory analysis.

For more information about radiation, see NEI’s Web page on health and radiation safety. For detailed information on EPA’s RadNet air monitor locations, click here.

New Videos
NEI has uploaded two more videos to its YouTube channel. The first video discusses the design and safe operation of a nuclear reactor and the second video discusses dry cask storage for spent fuel at nuclear energy plants. Both videos feature Everett Redmond, NEI’s director of nonproliferation and fuel cycle policy.

Source: nei.org