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Japan:TEPCO to extract air from troubled reactors

Friday, July 29, 2011

Laaska News  July 29,2011

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it will extract air from troubled reactors at the plant to measure the amount of radioactive substances. The work is part of efforts to curb the amount of radioactivity released into the atmosphere.

Up to around one billion becquerels of radioactive substances are believed to be released every hour from reactors No.1, 2 and 3. It is not known how accurate this figure is because it was worked out by taking readings of the air on the plant’s premises.

Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to extract air inside the containment vessels of the reactors through pipes. The extracted air will be analyzed by a device set up on the first floor of the reactor buildings.

The operation is intended to obtain accurate data on what kind of radioactive substances are being released and in what quantity.

The air extraction is expected to begin later on Friday for the No.1 reactor and in early August for the No.2 unit. No plans have been decided for the No.3 reactor due to high radiation levels in part of its building.

TEPCO hopes the findings may also help the company grasp the extent of leakage of nuclear fuels into the containment vessels.

Under the second phase of its plan to stabilize the plant, TEPCO aims to minimize the release of nuclear materials and bring the reactors to a stable state called a cold shutdown over the next 6 months.

NHK.

Laaska News.
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