mardi 19 mars 2013

Restore the cooling system

Fukushima Prefecture has asked Tokyo Electric Power Company to restore the cooling system at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The cooling system was suspended after a momentary power outage on Monday evening.Fukushima Prefecture sought an explanation of the problem from 2 TEPCO officials on Tuesday morning.An official of Fukushima Prefecture, Shoji Furuichi, said TEPCO had not yet identified the cause of the trouble, fueling concerns among local residents.He also asked the utility to ensure safety by installing multiple power-generation units at the plant and to step up its monitoring system so similar problems can be detected in their early stages.
He also asked TEPCO to swiftly provide residents with information on any problems that arise at key facilities and explain their estimated impact and risks in an easy-to-understand way.
This time, the power outage was made public 3 hours after it took place.
A university student in Fukushima city said the delayed announcement, as well as the outage itself, causes her serious concern, as such delays could seriously affect residents if the situation required them to evacuate.
A company employee in his 60s said he is concerned that the prolonged outage could affect cooling operations at the plant, which is still storing a number of fuel rods.

Mar. 19, 2013 - Updated 11:10

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it has restored cooling systems for spent fuel pools at 2 of 3 reactors affected by a power failure at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The momentary power failure just before 7 PM on Monday suspended cooling systems for the No. 1, 3 and 4 reactors as well as a shared pool for spent fuel in the plant's compound.TEPCO officials later found that 3 power distribution boards had stopped working.

The utility repaired two of the boards, but could not fix the third and instead used an emergency power generator to restore the cooling system for the No. 4 reactor's fuel pool.As a result, the cooling system for the No. 1 reactor's fuel pool resumed functioning around 2:20 PM on Tuesday, 19 hours after the power failure.
The No. 4 reactor cooling system restarted after 4 PM.
TEPCO plans to restore the cooling systems for the No. 3 reactor by around 8 PM on Tuesday, and for the shared pool by around 8 AM on Wednesday.

The firm continues to investigate what caused the boards to stop functioning. It says they do not appear damaged.

TEPCO says the temperature of the No. 4 pool was 25 degrees one hour before the power failure. The temperature rose to 30.5 degrees Celsius at 10 AM on Tuesday.

TEPCO says the level does not affect cooling as it is below the safety threshold of 65 degrees.

The firm says the power failure did not affect water injection to the No. 1, 2 and 3 reactors.
They suffered core meltdowns in the early days of the nuclear crisis triggered by the March 11th, 2011 quake and tsunami.

The utility also says no change has been observed in radiation levels at monitoring posts around the plant.

Mar. 19, 2013 - Updated 10:33

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