JAPAN | TEPCO reports cooling system’s reliability

Posted on August 4, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | 4 August 2011

The operator of the Fukushima power plant says it could restart injecting water into its crippled reactors within 3 hours after mechanical problems or power failure halt the plant’s cooling system.

Tokyo Electric Power Company made the claim in a report to the industrial ministry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on Wednesday.

The agency asked TEPCO to report how it will deal with the failure of the cooling system, which recycles decontaminated radioactive water as coolant for reactors.

The report says TEPCO could restart the system within 30 minutes of a loss of power or the water pumps breaking down by using extra pumps and emergency generators.

If problems occur simultaneously, TEPCO says it will use fire engines to restart injecting coolant water within 3 hours.

The report admits that if the circulation of coolant water is suspended for several hours, temperatures in the reactors could climb high enough to cause radioactive releases, or another hydrogen explosion.

The company says it would increase the amount of coolant water to the maximum levels in such an emergency.

TEPCO’s report is expected to help the government review an emergency evacuation advisory for local residents.

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