Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant: The WikiBook/orphaned pages/IAEA corrects false report

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Welter of Misinformation Cloud IAEA, Media Reports on Fukushima Power Restoration

False hopes were raise by erroneous reports, widely circulated, that TEPCO had successfully established electric power at the overheated reactor units of the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Amidst a welter of confusing reports, false hopes had been raised that electric cable had been installed Thursday at the troublesome Fukushima Daiichi reactor units in northeastern Japan. Concerned people around the globe remained glued to media reports of heroic efforts to re-instate power needed to operate pumps to cool down the nuclear reactors in the wake of a catastrophic tsunami.

The IAEA dampened those hopes on Friday with a clarification posted on their website: Japan Earthquake Update (17 March 2011, 16:55 UTC) - Clarified which remains on their website with cross outs indicating that earlier reports had been erroneous. As of Saturday March 20, power was still pending at Unit 2 while engineers struggled to control temperature and radiation levels. According to the IAEA, hopes remain that the power at Unit 2 can be hooked up by the 20th which can then act as a hub for additional electrical service at Unit 1.

As Japanese military personnel continued to douse reactors at the embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant with sea water, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a clarification of earlier reports indicating that Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) had successfully installed a replacement electric cable to the beleaguered second reactor. That operation has begun remains uncompleted and is ongoing. Tepco informed the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency that it would continue to spray water onto reactor three prior to restoring electric power at reactor two. Spraying had been halted at 11:09 UTC March 17 but resumed with different equipment.

Earlier attempts to cool

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Earlier attempts to cool the reactor using Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters was abandoned due to difficulty in approaching closely enough to the dangerously radioactive site. Thirty fire engines were moved to the site from the Tokyo Fire Department, supplementing available military equipment. It is considered of critical importance to cool the nuclear reactor units because the uranium and other fuels become hot and may ignite or burn through containment vessels. Such an eventuality, although not as likely or dangerous as portrayed in popular culture such as the film China Syndrome, nevertheless poses risks to public health throughout the region. Spraying water into the reactor building is understood to ruin the nuclear power plant due to encrustation of contaminants. Fifty tons of water are scheduled for dispersal. Reactor three must be cooled before it will be possible to install the cable.

The U.S. Navy has provided five high-capacity pumping systems to Japan's Nuclear Asset Management Department. These are intended for possible use in cooling off reactor three in the event that existing pumps are inoperable. The pumps were flown via U.S. Air Force C-17 to Yokota Air Base.

Agency denounces media

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Subsequent to issuing its clarification regarding the electrical cabling, the IAEA noted that false information had been disseminated in the media with regard to health impacts. A Japan Earthquake Update of 18 March 2011, 12:25 UTC) entitled "Clarification" stated " Contrary to several news reports, the IAEA to date has NOT received any notification from the Japanese authorities of people sickened by radiation contamination."