Tepco Rethinking Plan For Cooling Reactors


Cooler King
Staff member
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TOKYO (Nikkei)--In light of indications that damage to the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is worse than expected, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) is expected to take a fresh approach to cooling down the fuel rods by installing equipment to circulate water that has been pumped inside.

The utility is scheduled to release on Tuesday a revised road map for bringing the reactors damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami under control.

The amount of water being pumped in has already been increased to 10 tons per hour. But the water that leaks out and builds up inside the reactor building is a concern.

"Heat exchangers and equipment for removing radioactive substances are necessary for pumping in and circulating water," said Takashi Sawada, vice president of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan. "Unless there is removal (of radioactive substances), the contamination will spread and the ensuing work will become impossible to perform."

If the fuel rods have breached the pressure vessel and reached the bottom of the containment vessel, installing the equipment will become more difficult. Bringing the situation under control could take longer than the initially envisioned six to nine months.

Some have suggested pinpointing areas of the containment vessel that have sustained damage and making repairs with cement or other materials, but the radiation is so strong that workers cannot get close. Another proposal calls for circulating the contaminated water that has gathered in the basement, but this is also not possible because workers cannot enter the area.
2011/05/17 04:35 - Tepco Rethinking Plan For Cooling Reactors

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