Low temperature a factor in Boeing 787 battery meltdown in Japan -Asahi

TOKYO Mon Aug 4, 2014 10:45pm EDT

TOKYO Aug 5 (Reuters) - Cold winter temperatures were a factor in the meltdown of a lithium ion battery that caused a Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner to make an emergency landing in Japan last year, the Asahi newspaper said, citing the conclusions of local investigators.

The battery meltdown on the ANA Holdings Inc -owned plane prompted authorities to ground the global fleet of Dreamliners for more than three months.

It followed an incident less than two weeks earlier at Boston Airport when a battery on a parked Japan Airlines 787 overheated and emitted white gases.

Low temperatures can cause a lithium ion battery to deteriorate, resulting in the risk of a short circuit, Kyodo News reported separately. The battery is located in an unpressurized, unheated part of the plane.

The Japan Transport Safety Board plans to release a final report on its findings as early as September, the Asahi said, without citing sources.

A spokeswoman for accident investigator declined to comment on the report.

Boeing won approval for Dreamliner flights to resume after it redesigned the battery compartment to isolate thermal events and vent hot gases outside the aircraft.

The Dreamliner is Boeing's state-of-the-art plane, built with carbon-fiber composite materials and a powerful electrical system to reduce weight and improve the jet's fuel efficiency. (Reporting by Tim Kelly and Chris Gallagher; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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