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Pattaya Daily News

17 March 2011 :: 11:03:01 am 51622

Japan: Helicopters Air-drop Seawater On Nuclear Plants

ZAO, Japan – Japanese military CH-47 helicopters began dumping at least four loads of seawater on the damaged reactor of Unit 3 at the Fukushima complex at 9:48 a.m. on Thursday.
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Defense ministry spokeswoman, Kazumi Toyama said that the dumping was intended to both help cool the reactor and to refill water in a pool holding spent fuel rods. The plant’s owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co., reported earlier that the pool was almost empty which might cause the rods to overheat.

Last week’s earthquake and tsunami wiped out the power and destroyed backup generators needed for the cooling systems of many nuclear plant’s reactors in Japan, as the country experienced over 10,000 people died and hundreds of thousands left homeless.

Meanwhile, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman, Gregory Jaczko warned that the Unit 4 of Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in northeastern area may be discharging more radioactive material because the water in the storage pool was empty for spent nuclear fuel rods.

“What we believe at this time is that there has been a hydrogen explosion in this unit due to an uncovering of the fuel in the fuel pool,” Gregory Jaczko told a House energy and commerce subcommittee hearing Wednesday. “We believe that secondary containment has been destroyed and there is no water in the spent fuel pool, and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures.”

Workers were forced to retreat from the plant on Wednesday after the radiation levels rose. They returned to work later when the radiation levels dropped, though many monitoring equipment in the plant was damaged, making it almost impossible to assess the situation.

“We are afraid that the water level at unit 4 is the lowest,” said Hikaru Kuroda, facilities management official at Tokyo Electric Power Co. But he added, “Because we cannot get near it, the only way to monitor the situation is visually from far away.”

Japanese officials were optimistic about relieving the crisis as they commented early Thursday that they may be close to bringing power back to the plant and restoring the reactors’ cooling systems.

The new power line would recover electric-powered pumps so the company could control the temperature and pressure that have led to at least partial meltdowns in three reactors. The company is also trying to repair its existing disabled power line.

Tokyo Electric Power spokesman, Naoki Tsunoda said that the new power line is almost complete and that the officials plan to try it “as soon as possible”, but he was uncertain of the exact time.

Report By : CNN, Yahoo News

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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