Japan's TEPCO: air release starts at No.3 reactor

TOKYO, March 13 Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:06pm EST

TOKYO, March 13 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) , Japan's largest electric utility, said on Sunday it had started releasing air from a reactor container vessel at the No.3 reactor of its Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Japan's nuclear power safety agency said earlier in the day that the emergency cooling system was no longer functioning at the No.3 reactor, after the plant was damaged in a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami on Friday.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Michael Watson)

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Comments (3)
Safe, clean, reliable, nuclear power.. at this rate, the human race is so very, doomed.

Mar 12, 2011 8:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds

Mar 12, 2011 9:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheBWRexpert wrote:
The system that circulates the water between the reactor and the suppression pool in the containment is driven by steam. It was designed that way for situations like this where there is essentially no or very little electrical power. The steam-driven pump that circulates water does not have enough steam to run it as the amount of nuclear decay heat to drive it decreases. Decay heat was originally at 7% of reactor power. It is now less than 0.5%. The inability to use the steam-driven pump is expected. Now the priority is to flood everything so that natural circulation without any pumping can complete the cool down process.

Do not panic. The Japanese engineers and experts are doing a great job handling a difficult problem.

Mar 13, 2011 4:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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