The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is checking for gas leaks in the No. 3 reactor, into which nitrogen is being injected to prevent a hydrogen explosion.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has injected more than 200 cubic meters of nitrogen into the reactor’s containment vessel since Thursday evening. But it says the interior air pressure has increased very little.
TEPCO says gas may be leaking from a damaged part of the container.
Also on Friday, TEPCO restarted a system for decontaminating highly radioactive water after a 9-hour stoppage to vent air from a pipe that was slowing down operations.
But it says the system’s capability is still more than 20 percent lower than the target figure.
Nitrogen injection and the operation of the water decontamination system are essential for TEPCO to complete the first step of its plan to bring the plant under control.
The utility is still suffering 1 problem after another, with just 2 days left before the first target date of July 17th.