After an epic week-long tussle to control overheating at the facility, where the tsunami knocked out backup generators, the crews were expecting to restore electricity to four of its six reactors, officials said.
The nuclear safety agency said workers had connected a power line to reactor number two at the plant after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake -- the biggest in Japan's recorded history -- felled electricity pylons in the area.
"If no problem is found at the facility today, the power will resume as early as tomorrow (Sunday)," a spokesman for the agency said.
Once power is back up, radiation-suited engineers hope they can get the cooling systems online. In the meantime, they have been dumping water by hose and by air on the reactors to avert a feared meltdown.
But given the extent of damage at the plant, it is unclear whether the cooling system would work even if power is restored.
If they can get the cooling system to work and that is a big if, then they can explore what type of options they have to decommission the plant.The lack of power has sent the temperatures of fuel rods -- both in the reactors and in separate containment pools -- soaring as the coolant water that normally keeps them safely submerged has rapidly evaporated.