Energy officials from the U.S. and other nations are cautiously optimistic about the situation at Japan’s failing Fukushima Daiichi power plant nuclear reactors.
- The good news
Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) has been able to restore electricity at three of the six reactors, and hopes to get the cooling pumps working within days. In the meantime, efforts to keep the reactors and pools of spent nuclear fuel rods from overheating by dousing them with fire hoses and helicopter drops of seawater “appear to have created a modicum of stability,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Also, radiation levels at the plant seem to be dropping.
- The bad news
There might be a radiation leak in reactor No. 2, large radiation clouds could still be released, and radioactive contamination has been found in Japanese spinach, drinking water, and milk. Government spokesman Yukio Edano says he thinks the radiation levels in the food, while above Japanese legal limits, are safe for human consumption. But Japan warned people within the 20-mile contamination zone to stay inside, wear masks and long sleeves, and not drink tap water.