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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Japan : TEPCO to set up device to cool reactors

Article from NHK News :

" The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will start setting up a system around mid-May to help cool the facility's No.1 reactor.

Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to circulate water in the reactor's containment vessel with the use of tubes that are already in place.

The water will be sent to a heat exchanger that will be installed near one of the reactor building's entrances.

Then the water will be pumped through a cooling tower outside the building before being returned to the containment vessel via the tubes.

TEPCO will first start purifying the radioactive-tainted air in the building on Thursday at the earliest. Then it will carry out a visual check on the tubes on Sunday.

The utility says it is uncertain how long the air-purifying work will take and how much damage will be found in the tubes.

The company says the system is expected to circulate about 100 tons of water per hour to cool down an estimated 1,500 kilowatts of heat radiating from fuel rods in the reactor.

It says once the new system is put into operation, it should lower the temperature of the fuel in the reactor to below 100 degrees Celsius within a few hours to a few days."

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