JAPAN | Hose leaking water at Fukushima No.5 reactor

Posted on July 3, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | Sunday, July 03, 2011 12:58 +0900 (JST)

The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says a hose has been leaking seawater used to cool the No.5 reactor, which is currently in a state of cold shutdown.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, is set to replace the hose, but will have to suspend the reactor’s cooling function to do so. It says this will raise the water temperature, but the reactor will still remain in a state of cold shutdown.

TEPCO says workers patrolling around the No.5 reactor found a hose leaking water on Sunday morning around the outlet of a temporary pump sending seawater into the reactor’s cooling system. The company says the polyvinyl chloride hose has a crack about 30 centimeters long and 7 centimeters wide.
TEPCO stopped sending water at around 10 AM to replace the hose. The reactor’s cooling system stopped 15 minutes later, meaning its cooling function was temporarily lost.

The water temperature inside the reactor was 43.1 degrees Celsius at 8 AM. TEPCO expects the temperature to rise 2.5 degrees per hour while the cooling function is halted.

The company says that if the replacement work finishes during the night and the cooling system is restarted, the water temperature will not exceed 100 degrees, the level needed to keep the reactor in a state of cold shutdown.

The No.5 reactor was hit by a pump failure on May 29th, when a delay in recovery briefly sent the water temperature to 94.8 degrees.

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Posted in: JAPAN