TOKYO – Four fuel storage pools at Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant have been without fresh cooling water for more than 15 hours due to a power outage, but the plant’s operator said this morning it was trying to repair a broken switchboard that might have caused the problem.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said pool temperatures were well within safe levels at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, and pools would remain safe for at least four days without fresh cooling water.
The utility was preparing a backup system in case the repairs didn’t fix the problem, Masayuki Ono, an official at operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., told reporters.
“If worse comes to worst, we have a backup water injection system,” Ono said.
The command center at the plant suffered a brief power outage before 7 p.m. Monday. Electricity was quickly restored to the command center but not to equipment pumping water into the fuel pools.
Police say senator’s accusers were paid
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Three women were paid to falsely claim in videotaped interviews that they had sex for money with a U.S. senator in the Dominican Republic, a spokesman for the police said Monday.
The women, whose claims generated media attention in the United States, were hired by a Dominican attorney to make the videotaped statements, spokesman Maximo Baez told reporters. Two of the women received about $425 and the other was paid about $300, he said.
Authorities are seeking to interrogate the attorney, Melanio Figueroa, about the payments and have not determined his motive or whether he was in turn paid by someone else to set up the interviews, Baez said.
The women have not been detained.
A spokeswoman for Menendez, Tricia Enright, said she hopes U.S. authorities will also investigate to determine who was behind the production of the videos as well as similar allegations sent to the FBI.