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Monday, April 18, 2011

Japan : TEPCO says stabilizing troubled reactors to take at least 6 months

Via Kyodo News :

" Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday it will take at least six months before the utility can stabilize troubled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, saying that about three months are needed to achieve a ''steady reduction'' in radiation leaks.

While announcing for the first time its schedule for bringing the situation under control since the earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant's critical cooling systems on March 11, the utility, known as TEPCO, continued its containment efforts by operating remotely controlled robots inside one of the damaged reactors.

At a news conference in Tokyo, TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said he is considering resigning from his post at an ''appropriate time'' to take the blame for one of the world's worst nuclear crises, indicating that the company's president, Masataka Shimizu, will also step down.

Under the schedule, the utility aims to bring the damaged Nos. 1 to 3 reactors at the plant in Fukushima Prefecture to a stable condition known as a ''cold shutdown'' in about six to nine months, a situation in which water temperatures inside the reactors have been stably brought below 100 C."

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