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Japan:Fukushima plant suffers a leak in water filtering + Related News

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Laaska News  July 14,2011

A system for decontaminating and recycling radioactive wastewater at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been halted again after operating in fits and starts.

Plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, found a leak through a broken plastic joint in a French-made facility on early Wednesday afternoon, forcing a shutdown for more than a day.

As of late Thursday afternoon, Tokyo Electric has not finished replacing the damaged polyvinyl chloride joint. The PVC joint, which was the cause of earlier leaks, is thought to be structurally too weak.

The company says the latest shutdown does not affect its operation to pump coolant into the reactors.

The system is designed to filter radioactive wastewater pooled in the basement of reactor buildings, and then sent the cleaned water back into the reactors as coolant.

A series of troubles since the start of operations in June has resulted in operation rates of only about 73 percent during the past week, far below the targeted 90.

Tokyo Electric considers the system critical in meeting its target of putting in place a stable reactor cooling system by July 17th. The date would mark the end of phase one in a timetable it has set for bringing the reactors under control.

Kyushu Electric delays restart of Sendai reactor

Kyushu Electric Power Company on Thursday announced the postponement of the restart of operations of the Number One nuclear reactor at its Sendai plant in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima, citing local opposition.

The reactor was initially scheduled to resume operations in late July.

A regular checkup on the reactor began in May and has been completed.

The utility cited as another reason a lack of a timetable for the central government’s plan to carry out additional safety assessments called “stress tests” on nuclear plants.

The mayor of Satsumasendai City, where the plant is located, says one condition for the restart would be the restart of operations at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture.

Kagoshima Governor Yuichiro Ito has demanded the central government hold a briefing on the issue for local residents.

The Number 2 reactor at the Sendai plant is also scheduled to stop operations for regular checks in September.

Analysts say electric power supplies for the Kyushu region in the southwestern part of Japan could be affected when consumption peaks in the summer.

NHK.

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