Friday, July 15, 2011

TEPCO nuclear deadline looms: Will it make it?

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is aiming to meet its first stage deadline to bring the plant under control by injecting nitrogen into its No.3 reactor containment vessel. But a problematic wastewater system may delay their goal.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company started the injection on Thursday evening to prevent a hydrogen explosion.

The utility had already begun the procedure at the plant's No.1 and 2 reactors, but the work was delayed due to high radiation levels.

The injection is essential for the utility to complete the first step of its plan to bring the plant under the control by the target date of July 17th.

But a French-made system installed to recycle radioactive wastewater continues to work below its target capacity. The device is meant to decontaminate radioactive wastewater and send it back into the reactors as coolant. Tokyo Electric says the problem has been malfunctioning filters.
The utility plans to introduce a newly developed device as an alternative in August. (source)