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Japan: hydrogen from reactor caused blast – TEPCO

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Laaska News  Nov. 10,2011

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the explosion of the facility’s Number 4 reactor on March 15th was caused by a backflow of hydrogen from an adjacent building.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, announced the finding on Thursday.

The blast was initially thought to have been caused by hydrogen created when spent fuel stored in a pool at the reactor building was damaged by the devastating March 11th quake.

TEPCO workers who entered the building on Tuesday to determine the cause found that the 5th floor was more severely damaged than the 4th, where a pool of spent fuel is located, and that the fuel was intact.
The workers also confirmed that an air conditioning duct on the floor was severely damaged.

TEPCO says the hydrogen likely flowed into the reactor through the duct connected to the plant’s Number 3 reactor when workers released pressurized air from it to prevent a hydrogen blast.

The firm says the explosion very likely occurred after the density of hydrogen in the duct increased.

A hydrogen blast took place at the Number 3 building a day before the explosion at the Number 4 building.

NHK.
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Laaska News.
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