Just when you thought it was over, the temperature at reactor number 2 at Fukushima's nuclear plant has soared 26.7 degrees Celsius in the last few hours. Worse: they don't know why the temperature is increasing after being stabilized for so long.
The reactor reached 164 degrees Fahrenheit (73.3 degrees Celsius) after being stabilized at 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) since last December. Here's the latest official update by Tepco, the owner of the plant:
At this moment, temperature indicates approx. 71.0 °C (as of 11:00 am on February 6). We will monitor it continuously.
The reactors were finally shut down cold after ten months of dramatic struggle by company and emergency workers.
Tepco has admitted that they don't have a clue about what is going on. They have increased the amount of water pumped into the reactor ten percent, but their technicians don't know what is going on. The change was detected in one of the three thermometers at the base of the reactor.
The plant was hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake and a tsunami that caused all systems to shut down, sending the reactors and spent nuclear fuel rods into a disastrous spiral of malfunctions that ended in a meltdown and venting of radioactivity material to the water and the atmosphere.
Helicopters have started to survey the area above the plant to gather information about the current radiation level in the air. [Tepco, Tepco, Tepco via Europa Press]