Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant: Concerns grow over the rising temperature of the Reactor

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant on Tuesday raised the amount of water injected into the No. 2 reactor to the highest level since the plant achieved a stable state of cold shutdown in December, as concerns grew over the rising temperature recently detected at the bottom of the reactor's pressure vessel.

Following the move, the temperature measured at the same spot on the vessel dropped to 69.0 C at 10 a.m. from 72.2 C logged at 5 a.m., Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. told a press conference, but added that the company needs more time to assess the effect of the latest step.

"It is difficult to judge whether the temperature is rising or dropping unless we monitor the development for about a day," Matsumoto said.

TEPCO said it increased the amount of injected water at 4:24 a.m. Tuesday. The No. 2 reactor is now being cooled with the injection of 13.5 tons of water per hour, up from 10.5 tons.

Nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono told a press conference that TEPCO is making utmost efforts to lower the temperature. Read More