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Japan:TEPCO to begin work for cooling fuel pool

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Laaska News  June 16,2011

At the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, work is likely to begin Saturday to install a circulatory cooling system for the fuel pool of the Number 3 reactor.

Operator Tokyo Electric Power Company has been pouring water onto the fuel pool from outside once every 4 days. But it estimates that the temperature is still above 60 degrees Celsius.

TEPCO plans to install a heat exchange device to cool the water and then return it to the fuel pool.

If work goes smoothly, then full operation of the circulatory cooling system is expected to start early next month. TEPCO says it wants to lower the temperature to around 40 degrees Celsius about a month later.

Days after the outbreak of the nuclear accident at the plant in March, 2 Self-Defense Force helicopters dumped seawater over the Number 3 reactor to cool the fuel pool.

A similar circulatory cooling system has already been installed for the Number 2 reactor, and it planned for the Number 1 and 4 reactors. But the outlook for Number 4 is unclear because a hydrogen blast damaged its piping, a vital component in the cooling system.

NHK.

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