– Japan pumps water into reactor to contain radioactivity (Monsters And Critics/DPA, Jun 20, 2011):
Tokyo – Japanese authorities pumped water into a damaged nuclear reactor over the weekend to contain high radiation, news reports said Monday.
Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), which runs the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, started Sunday to pour water into a pool on the top floor of reactor 4 of the six-reactor plant after it discovered the water level had dropped to about one-third of its capacity, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The drop caused equipment in the pool to be exposed, releasing high levels of radiation, officials said.
The plant has been leaking radioactive substances since it was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The radiation levels at reactor 4 have been preventing workers from entering the structure to conduct repairs.
TEPCO also began late Sunday to release air containing radioactive substances from the building of reactor 2 by opening its doors.
An estimated 1.6 billion becquerels of radioactive materials were released, compared with 500 million becquerels when the double doors of the building of reactor 1 were opened in May, the Jiji Press agency reported, citing TEPCO.
The operator denied that the releases would have an impact on the environment.
The move was aimed at lowering the 99-per-cent humidity inside the reactors, which was further hindering repair work.
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