TOKYO — Crews at the heavily damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reached a milestone Tuesday as they finished connecting external power to all six of the facility’s reactors.
Workers will now test the plant’s internal electrical and cooling systems to see whether they can cool the overheated reactors and prevent further meltdown and releases of radiation.
Crews have been using external pumps to send seawater into three of the facility’s six reactors after the facility’s cooling systems failed in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Concerned that the highly corrosive seawater might have damaged equipment, the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power, was “checking each electrical device on each unit,” said Taro Ishida, a representative of the Federation of Electric Power Companies in Japan, an industry group in Washington.
In the meantime, the power company resumed rolling blackouts in many areas of Japan in an effort to conserve energy.
On Tuesday, 12 days after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck off the coast of Sendai in northeastern Japan, the National Police Academy said that 9,080 people had been killed and that 13,561 were missing.