The Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant was “near meltdown” after being hit by a tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, according to the head of the plant.
Reuters reports that the No. 2 plant, on the border of Naraha and Tomioka towns in Fukushima Prefecture, was opened to the media Wednesday for the first time since the disaster. It is 12 kilometers from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which suffered a meltdown.
Plant chief Naohiro Masuda, in charge of plant operations since the crisis, told reporters Wednesday, “The No. 2 plant almost suffered the same fate as No. 1 [which led to a severe crisis].”
On March 11, a 9-meter-high tsunami struck the No. 2 plant, while the No. 1 plant was hit by a 13-meter-high tsunami. The tsunami caused the No. 2 plant’s seawater pumps, used to cool reactors, to fail. Of the plant’s four reactors, three were in danger of meltdown.
Luckily, one external high-voltage power line still functioned, allowing plant staff in the central control room to monitor data on internal reactor temperatures and water levels.
By March 15, the No. 2 plant’s four reactors reached a state of cold shutdown without any leakage of radioactive materials.
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