March 15, 2011

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday March 14 at 12:40am, 2011
[Provisional Translation]

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY EDANO: This is a report on the latest situation in the Unit 3 reactor at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, where an explosion is confirmed to have taken place at 11:01 today.
And I realize you, those who have seen the images must be very concerned. The conclusion from the data obtained or confirmed is that it is expected that the condition of the containment vessel remains sound, as I said earlier. The pressure inside containment vessel is stable. At 11:13, the pressure inside containment vessel was 380kPa; at 11:55, it was 360kPa. As I suggested earlier, these figures go some way toward confirming the station director’s assessment that the reactor remains sound.
The results show of monitoring radiation levels are: A reading of 50μSv/h was observed. A reading of 50μSv/h was taken in the service hall inside the power station at 11:37, and at 11:44 a reading of 20μSv/h was recorded at the main entrance. There has been no notable change observed.
In the off-site center roughly 5 kilometers from the station, a reading of 1μSv/h was recorded at 11:36. This is approximately the same figure as was recorded the previous day. None of these readings suggests the presence of large amounts of radiation.
According to the reports we have received, none of the data from any of the monitoring points suggests problems with neutron radiation. We have also confirmed that the central control room is intact.
In regard to water injection to the Unit 3 reactor, reports that workers were evacuated while this work was in process are accurate. At the moment, we are grasping the situation to determine at which stage the efforts and operations of visual confirmation of the ongoing water injection can be carried out.
We have received reports that six people were injured. Despite what was reported in some quarters, I have spoken directly with TEPCO head office and the director of the power station to confirm the situation, and neither has reported any missing personnel.
In terms of the evacuation situation, I referred earlier to a “small number of people” still evacuating the area. This may have been a slightly inappropriate choice of words. As of 12:30, around 500 people are still in the process of evacuating the 20km zone around the power station.
To repeat: In light of the data I have just provided, it is the opinion of experts and others monitoring the situation that this event was an occurrence similar to the hydrogen explosion that took place in the Unit 1 reactor the other day, and that the condition of the containment vessel remains sound and risk of a large-scale release of radioactive materials is low at the present time.
As regards the 500 or so people still within the 20km evacuation zone, our instructions remain for them to wait indoors. We will make a decision on the timing of their evacuation from the area once we have obtained more data and other information.
That is all from me for now.
Sorry—I have a correction to make.
I said that the measurement at the off-site center had been made at 11:36. I should have said 12:36.