Japan Gets Power Lines Hooked Up at Plant
But it will be days before they can test all the cooling systems
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2011 11:53 AM CDT
Residents on the outskirts of Fukushima crowd into an elementary school gymnasium for a town hall meeting.   (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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(Newser) – A potential milestone in Japan's efforts to get the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant under control: Workers have for the first time connected all six reactors to power lines, a development that could finally revive the plant's cooling systems, reports the AP. The caveat: They won't turn the juice back on to all the water pumps for days or perhaps weeks as safety checks and repairs continue, and pumps for some of the reactors may be irreparably damaged.

Still, just getting the lines hooked up is seen as a significant breakthrough, notes MSNBC. At the very least, one control room now has working lights. Meanwhile, crews dumped tons of seawater on a boiling storage pool containing spent fuel rods and managed to cool it down to a more manageable level. That reduces the risk of more radiation leaking in the form of steam.