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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Japan : Reactor 1 water level concerns

Article from NHK News :

" The Japanese government has expressed concern about the structural strength of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant's Number 1 reactor. It says the ongoing water injections may be making the vessel less earthquake resistant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, is planning to fill part of the containment vessel with water to cool the reactor.TEPCO wants the water level to reach the top of the fuel rods in reactors one and three by mid July, so it can cool them under more stable conditions.

At the Number 1 reactor, where fuel rods are believed to be the most seriously damaged, six tons of water are being injected every hour.TEPCO believes the water is vaporizing, then condensing in the containment vessel.

The water level is now estimated to be about half way up the bulb of the dry well.TEPCO says the water accumulation will not compromise the structure. But the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says large amounts of water can make the building less earthquake-proof.

The agency says it needs to check whether the suppression pool pipes can withstand higher levels of pressure from the extra water."

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