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Friday, May 6, 2011

Japan : TEPCO says a flooding operation will be safe

Article from NHK News :

" Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will be able to safely conduct an operation to cool the number one reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. TEPCO is planning on filling the reactor's containment vessel with enough water to bring the temperature below 100 degrees Celsius.

It reported its assessment on Thursday to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. The company says it hopes to start the work as soon as the agency approves the plan.

TEPCO says about 7,400 tons of water will have to be pumped into the containment vessel for the cooling process. It says the vessel and the reactor building will both be able to withstand the weight of the water.

But TEPCO's calculation for risk to the reactor did not factor in another magnitude-9 earthquake in the foreseeable future.

Should radioactive water leak from the containment vessel, the utility says it would flow into the building's basement, and then into the basement of a nearby turbine building. But TEPCO says it does not expect the water to get into the environment.

Pending regulatory approval of the operation, the company plans to increase the amount of feed-water into the reactor to 8 tons per hour, from the current 6 tons, in hopes of filling the containment vessel in 20 days."

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