News / Asia

Electricity Restored in Part of Tsunami-Damaged Japanese Nuclear Plant

TEXT SIZE - +

The Japanese operator of a radiation-leaking nuclear plant says electricity has been partially restored to one of the six reactors crippled by an earthquake and tsunami that struck the country earlier this month.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says the lights came on in the control room of the number three reactor at the Fukushima plant Tuesday, giving a boost to repair crews racing to restore electricity to other parts of the complex.

TEPCO says workers finished reconnecting power lines to all six reactor units at the complex earlier in the day, a major step toward restarting cooling systems that prevent nuclear fuel rods from overheating and leaking radiation.  But the company said it will take time to check the safety of electrical equipment before turning more of the power back on.

Emergency crews continued pumping and spraying sea water onto the reactors to cool them down. Steam and smoke rose from two of the reactor buildings Tuesday, but officials said the emissions did not appear to be dangerous.  An official with Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said he no longer sees any chance of a total meltdown of the reactors.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday that radiation continues to be emitted from the Fukushima plant.  IAEA official James Lyons said it is not clear what parts of the reactors are causing the leakage.

The Japanese nuclear crisis is the world's most serious in 25 years and has forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate a 20-kilometer zone around the Fukushima plant.  TEPCO vice president Norio Tsuzumi visited an evacuation center Tuesday and bowed deeply in apology to the evacuees.

Japanese authorities say almost 23,000 people are dead or missing following the twin disasters of March 11, which swept away entire communities along the Pacific coast of Japan's Honshu island.

Officials said Tuesday that among the dead was a 24-year-old American teacher whose body was found in the wreckage of the city of Ishinomaki. Taylor Anderson is the first American known to have died in the disasters.

Three strong earthquakes struck the waters east of Honshu Tuesday, keeping residents on edge more than ten days after the magnitude 9.0 quake that triggered the towering tsunami.  The U.S. Geological Survey says two of the latest quakes had a magnitude of 6.6, while the third had a magnitude of 6.4.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said freezing temperatures continue to make life difficult for about 318,000 people who remain in evacuation centers across the disaster zone.  But it says relief supplies are reaching the evacuees and 90 percent of telecommunication links have been restored to affected areas.

The World Bank has estimated the cost of the twin disasters at up to $235 billion, more than twice as much as the cost of Japan's 1995 Kobe earthquake.

Russia says it will help Japan by increasing energy sales to the Japanese economy.  Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Tuesday that oil exports to Japan will double to 18 million tons this year.

Investors reacted positively to Japan's improved prospects of averting a nuclear catastrophe, driving the benchmark Nikkei stock index up by more than four percent on Tuesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid