JAPAN | Nitrogen injection could be delayed at Fukushima

Posted on July 7, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | Thursday, July 07, 2011 12:58 +0900 (JST)

The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi power plant is having trouble injecting nitrogen gas into one of the reactors to prevent a hydrogen explosion.

Tokyo Electric Power Company on Wednesday examined the No.3 reactor to see if it can connect injection pipes to the containment vessel.

A camera-mounted robot was used for the operation because high radioactive levels are preventing workers from remaining in the reactor building for long periods.

But TEPCO failed to confirm the situation because the robot couldn’t reach the necessary part of the reactor.

Radiation levels as high as about 50 millisieverts per hour were registered in the area.

The reading means a worker would be exposed to radiation on par with the government-set 250-millisievert safety limit in 5 hours.

TEPCO is now considering sending personnel or a robot into the reactor building to conduct another survey. The new survey would happen on Friday at the earliest.

There is a growing likelihood that the planned nitrogen injection will be delayed.

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Posted in: JAPAN