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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Japan : TEPCO slipping behind schedule to contain accident

Article from NHK News :

" Nearly one month has passed since the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant announced a schedule to contain the accident. But Tokyo Electric Power Company is finding it difficult to stick to the plan.

TEPCO announced the schedule on April 17th, detailing 51 measures to be implemented over the next 3 months for the 1st stage.

The most important steps involve the cooling of the reactors. These include pumping water into the reactors, injecting nitrogen into the containment vessels to prevent a hydrogen blast and filling them with water, as well as a study on the possible installation of heat exchangers.

Workers have entered the No.1 reactor building to prepare to inject water into the containment vessel. On Tuesday, they started calibrating the water gauges, and a plan has been drawn up to install a heat exchanger.

However, none of these measures have been carried out at the other reactors, apart from pumping water into them.

The high levels of radiation detected inside the No.1 building could force TEPCO to change its work plan.

A clear strategy for containing the problem is yet to be seen 2 months after the nuclear accident occurred."

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