Summary Update Of Japan's Nuclear Crisis - Operation Extension Cord Begins Friday At Earliest

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The latest summary update of all the latest development in and around the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (bold is recent).

  • Power plant operator says it started work on
    Thursday to connect outside power cables to the plant. It later says the
    earliest time electricity could be re-connected is Friday.
  • Japan's nuclear agency said the No.2 reactor will be the first to
    receive electricity because it has a roof and will try to use power for
    internal mechanisms.
  • Japanese military helicopters drop tons
    of water on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex to try to cool
    reactors and fuel rods after a failed attempt the previous day because
    of high radiation levels. Helicopters to be used again on Friday.
    Engineers try to restore power to the water cooling systems.
  • A water cannon later douses No. 3 reactor, the top priority for
    authorities with plutonium fuel inside. Smoke and steam had been
    escaping from the unit, indicating water evaporating from the cooling
    pool. Pressure had been rising.
  • United States sends aircraft
    to fly out nationals from Japan, authorises voluntary departure of
    family members of diplomatic staff.
  • An official at the
    Nuclear and Industrial Safety Administration says three of the plant's
    six reactors - Nos. 1, 5 and 6 - are relatively stable. The official
    could not confirm whether water was covering spent fuel rods in reactor
    No. 4. - Top U.S. nuclear regulator earlier said no water was left in
    No. 4 reactor cooling pool, radiation levels extremely high.
  • The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, says core damage at
    reactors 1, 2 and 3 of the plant is confirmed, but reactor vessels seem
    intact.
  • Eighteen months before the crisis, U.S. diplomats had
    lambasted the IAEA's safety chief for incompetence, especially when it
    came to the nuclear power industry in his native Japan, according to
    cables sent by the U.S. embassy in Vienna to Washington. The cables,
    obtained by WikiLeaks and reviewed by Reuters, singled out Tomihiro
    Taniuchi, until last year the IAEA's head of safety and security.
  • The government said large-scale power cuts in Tokyo were unlikely
    after demand for electricity had hit its peak. Tokyo residents further
    unnerved by a mass malfunction of Mizuho Bank cash machines.
  • Japan PM Kan briefs Obama on efforts to contain emergency. U.S. to fly a
    drone over the complex to assess the situation. Australia again urges
    nationals in Tokyo and eight prefectures to consider leaving Japan. That
    warning was because of infrastructural problems, not the fear of
    radiation.
  • Tokyo is safe for international travellers, the Japanese Red Cross says.
  • Japan nuclear agency says radioactivity levels continue to fall at the plant. Eight staff members take readings in shifts.
  • Economics Minister Kaoru Yosanu tells Reuters Japanese markets are
    not sufficiently destabilised to warrant joint G7 currency intervention
    or government purchases of shares.
  • Yen jumps 4 percent against
    the dollar, the Nikkei down 1.4 percent. Officials blames yen spike on
    speculators. Bank of Japan offers to inject a further 6 trillion yen
    ($74 billion) into the banking system.
  • Estimates of losses to
    Japanese output from damage to buildings, production and consumer
    activity range from 10 to 16 trillion yen ($125-$200 billion), up to 1
    1/2 times the economic losses from the 1995 Kobe earthquake.
  • Nuclear crisis diverts attention from the tens of thousands affected by
    last week's earthquake and tsunami. About 850,000 households in the
    north without electricity in near-freezing weather. Death toll is
    expected to exceed 10,000.

Source: Reuters