All six reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant have been connected to power lines, although Tokyo Electric Power Company has said there are steps that need to be taken before it can safely turn the power on. The lines would be used to power the plant’s cooling systems, which were damaged in the March 11 earthquake on Japan’s eastern coast.
Meanwhile, efforts to cool the reactors using water continue, with another spike in radiation temporarily pushing back workers. Crews have had difficulty getting close enough to the smoldering reactors because of rubble in nearby areas.
A week-and-a-half after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami hit, 9,000 have been confirmed dead and 12,600 are missing. Hundreds of thousands of people have been stranded in shelters. Fuel shortages have eased, allowing for aid workers to assist evacuees.
Small amounts of radiation have been found in food and water, spurring other nations to step up checks of exports from Japan.
Some roads in Tokyo re-opened and bullet train service resumed in parts of the country. The earthquake and tsunami are estimated to have cost $235 billion in damages.