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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Japan : Workers enter No. 2 reactor building at Fukushima plant

Via Japan Today :

" FUKUSHIMA : Workers trying to restore the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Wednesday entered the building housing the troubled No. 2 reactor for the first time since an explosion took place inside the building in the early days of the nuclear crisis.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co has already sent people inside the No. 1 reactor building to make preparations to create a system to stably cool the nuclear fuel, and similar work is expected to take place inside the No. 2 reactor, such as checking the equipment and adjusting the reactor’s gauges that may have some malfunctions.

TEPCO is struggling to contain the nuclear crisis, triggered in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, in line with a road map that aims to bring the crippled Nos. 1 to 3 reactors to a stable cooling condition by mid-July and to a condition called ‘‘cold shutdown’’ by January at the latest.

In an updated version of its road map unveiled Tuesday, TEPCO did not change the broad restoration time frame, but said it plans to create a system to cool the three reactors by recycling massive amounts of radioactive water now filling up the reactor buildings and the adjacent reactor turbine buildings.

The water may be leaking out of damaged vessels containing the reactors, which lost their key cooling functions in the quake and tsunami, as they are being injected with water as an emergency postdisaster measure to keep the fuel inside cool."

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