Philippine mission in Vienna reports latest development on nuclear facilities in Japan

IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Photogra...Image via Wikipedia
A March 15, 2011 press release by the Department of Foreign Affairs
The Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Vienna reported that the Incident and Emergency Center of the International Atomic Energency Agency (IAEA) (see picture) confirmed with the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) that a hydrogen explosion occurred at Unit 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor at 11:01 a.m. (Japan local time) on March 14.
The explosion, which resulted from the build-up of hydrogen, took place within the upper section of the building, which is outside the pressure control valve (PCV).
Both the reactor pressure vessel and the PCV were not damaged. The main control room is operational.
NISA confirmed that the accident resulted into injuries of 11 persons.
The explosion has not resulted into the release of radioactive material in large quantities, although Japanese authorities are continuing to monitor the situation.
According to Japan, the level of radiation being released is not believed to be great enough to have any significant effect on human health.
The Tokoyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) had initiated the injection of freshwater into Unit 3 in order to cool the reactor core.
However, due to trouble with the pump system, TEPCO had to switch from using freshwater to seawater and was later able to stabilize the cooling of the water level.
The same seawater pumping procedure is being undertaken with regard to Unit 1 to maintain the cooling of the reactor core.
Unit 2 is also facing problems with its cooling system and the water level in the PCV has been decreasing, TEPCO is also preparing to inject seawater into the reactor as is being done with the other two units.  .
On the status of Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station which is also operated by TEPCO, Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the facility all shut down automatically and there is no indication of any reactor coolant leakage in the PCV.
However, TEPCO is continuing to monitor the possibility of radioactive material being discharged from the reactor exhaust stack or discharge canal.
NISA further reported that there are some 483 residents within the 20 kilometer radius from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor waiting to be evacuated as of 1:20 PM Japan local time of March 14.
Following the explosion, residents in the nearby areas were requested to shelter inside nearby building, although evacuation was later resumed.