Fukushima No 3 reactor heads towards cold shutdown
Tokyo: Tokyo Electric Power Co said that
the temperature of the crippled No 3 nuclear reactor at the
Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant has fallen below 100 C,
signaling progress toward the plant`s cold shutdown.
This is the first time that the temperature measured at
the bottom of the No 3 reactor pressure vessel dropped below
100 C since the nuclear crisis began at the complex in March
due to a devastating earthquake and tsunami. The No 1 reactor
is already below 90 C.
The plant operator known as TEPCO said yesterday using an
additional cooling method of showering water to the reactor
core is likely to have helped lower the temperature of the No
3 reactor pressure vessel.
TEPCO is considering applying the same method to the No 2
The utility has said the Nos 1 to 3 reactors` cores are
assumed to have suffered meltdowns and the melted fuel is
believed to be solidified at the bottom of the pressure
Cooling the pressure vessels of the plant`s damaged Nos 1
to 3 reactors is part of the key conditions to realize the
plant`s cold shutdown, which the government and TEPCO hopes to
achieve by January at the latest.
The cold shutdown is also defined by the government and
TEPCO as a state in which the release of radioactive materials
from reactors is under control and radiation exposure dose is
significantly held down.
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