Press Conference by Chief Cabinet Secretary Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet top page

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, March 14 at 11:00am, 2011
[Provisional Translation]

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY EDANO: Since yesterday, we have been continually injecting sea water into the reactor core of the Unit 3 reactor at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. A short time ago, at 11:01, an explosion occurred in the Unit 3 reactor. Based on the conditions of the explosion and other factors, we believe that this explosion was similar in kind to the hydrogen explosion that occurred in the Unit 1 reactor.

I have been in direct contact with the director of the power station to confirm the situation. As the specialist closest to the scene, the station director has reported that as of approximately 11:30 today, the condition of the containment vessel remains sound. Consequently, we believe that the risk that large amounts of radioactive materials have been dispersed is low.

However, we expect an increase in radiation levels similar to the one that followed the hydrogen explosion that occurred in the Unit 1 reactor. Accordingly, I have given instructions to the very small number of people who were in the process of evacuating from a 20km zone around the power station that they should take refuge indoors immediately as a precautionary measure.

At the present time, we are receiving data that the pressure inside the reactor vessel is stable and that the supply of water is continuing. This information, if reliable, would support the station director's on-the-scene appraisal of the situation.

At the moment we are devoting our energies to gathering information and data on radiation density and other conditions in the vicinity of the site. If you don't mind, I would now like to return to collecting and analyzing the latest information.