THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, TEPCO, KYODO (Japan)

Worldcrunch

TOKYO – Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) announced on Tuesday that cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant have been partially restored after a power failure had suspended cooling operations at three spent fuel ponds on Monday.

Map Saneef/Babbage

The shutdown of cooling systems occurred after a power outage on Monday night, reports the Asahi Shimbun.

TEPCO, which has yet to find the cause of the outage, announced that it had restarted cooling systems for two out of three spent fuel pools. The cooling systems for the third reactor should be restarted later Tuesday.

On Monday night, Fukushima residents were worried about news of the crippling power outage, even though no abnormality had been detected in radiation levels in areas surrounding the plant, reports Kyodo.

“It revived the memory of the nuclear accident two years ago,” Takashi Haga, an office worker, told Kyodo. “I thought it was under control.”

A 27-year-old housewife in the city of Fukushima said, “I am very worried because I have a baby. I want the information to be disclosed as quickly as possible because it will be difficult to evacuate promptly if (an emergency occurs) at night.”

TEPCO announced the power outage more than three hours after it occurred, said the Asahi Shimbun. According to the company’s estimates, it would take four days for the spent fuel pool at the No.4 reactor to reach unsafe levels – 65° Celsius.  Temperatures had reached 31.6° on Tuesday.

Fukushima nuclear plant after the tsunami. Diagram Socadan