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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Japan : Work starts to install air filter to reduce radiation at nuclear plant

Article from Japan Today, excerpt :

" FUKUSHIMA : The operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Monday commenced work to install an air filter in the building housing the No. 1 reactor to reduce the high radiation level and enable workers to enter and set up a system to cool the troubled reactor.

Tokyo Electric Power Co said that workers are expected to enter the building as early as Thursday to start the ventilation device. It would be the first time for workers to step into the plant’s reactor building since March 12, when a hydrogen explosion occurred at the No. 1 unit and led to the external release of radioactive substances.

Meanwhile, it was revealed the same day that Japan’s system to predict the volume of emitted radioactive materials in the event of a nuclear accident failed to work when the March 11 quake and ensuing tsunami hit Fukushima because equipment to measure necessary data lost power, according to sources close to the matter.

The revelation shows that the so-called Emergency Response Support System and another key system for predicting the dispersal of radioactive materials have been of little use during the ongoing crisis, raising concern about how the quake-prone country would respond in the event of another nuclear disaster.

It remains unclear when the crisis will come to an end, with TEPCO saying that it will take at least six months before the utility can stabilize the plant’s troubled reactors that have lost their cooling functions since the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami."

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