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Japan:Xenon detected in No.2 reactor

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Laaska News  Nov. 2 ,2011

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has poured water containing boric acid into the No. 2 reactor.

The move followed the detection of a radioactive substance, xenon, in the reactor’s containment vessel, indicating that nuclear fission may have resumed.

Tokyo Electric Power Company poured boric acid solution into the No. 2 reactor for one hour from shortly before 3 AM on Wednesday.

Last Friday, TEPCO began operating equipment to remove radioactive substances from the No. 2 reactor.
The device sucks out gas from the containment vessel and filters out radioactive materials. The company has been analyzing the types of radioactive substances and their density near the outlet of the device.

On Tuesday, TEPCO detected xenon-133 and xenon-135, substances that are produced during the nuclear fission of uranium-235. The company says the possibility of nuclear fission inside the reactor cannot be excluded.

TEPCO says even if nuclear fission has resumed, it should be on a small scale as there have been no major changes in the temperature or pressure of the reactor, or radiation levels at monitoring posts around the compound.

The government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says it is unlikely that nuclear fuel has begun melting again as the density of the xenon is low and there has been no change in the reactor temperatures. The agency says it will continue to monitor the xenon in the reactor.

Laaska News.