Japanese authorities have reported to the IAEA that Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 has experienced decreasing coolant levels in the reactor core. Officials have begun to inject sea water into the reactor to maintain cooling of the reactor core.
Sea water injections into Units 1 and 3 were interrupted Sunday due to a low level in a sea water supply reservoir, but sea water injections have now been restored at both units, the IAEA said.
On 12 March, the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the evacuation of residents living within 10 kilometres of the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant and within 20 kilometres of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has reported that about 185,000 residents had been evacuated from the towns listed as of 13 March, 17:00 (JST).
Japan has distributed 230,000 units of stable iodine to evacuation centres from the area around Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants, according to officials. The iodine has not yet been administered to residents; the distribution is a precautionary measure in the event that this is determined to be necessary.
The ingestion of stable iodine can help to prevent the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid.
In partnership with the World Meteorological Organization, the IAEA is continuing to monitor weather forecasts and is providing updates to member states. Since the incident began, winds have been moving away from the Japanese coast to the East, and predictions call for the same patterns to persist for the next three days.
“The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves,” the nuclear agency said.