– Tepco Starts To Eject Hydrogen From Fukushima Plant – Kyodo (FOX Business, Oct. 08, 2011):
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501.T0), operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said Saturday it has started to discharge hydrogen with high concentration levels from a pipe connected to a reactor containment vessel at the plant, as a measure to prevent an explosion.
The utility said it has injected nitrogen into the pipe for the No. 1 reactor vessel to eject hydrogen found with high density of more than 60%. The hydrogen has been generated by radiation that dissolved water.
Tepco said it will make sure that the concentration level of hydrogen is lowered to less than 1% before removing the pipe and going ahead with a plan to connect a system to clean up radioactive materials in the vessel.
While Tepco said a hydrogen explosion isn’t expected to occur in the pipe in a lack of oxygen, it has decided to lower the level of concentration to prevent an explosion from occurring during the work to cut off the pipe.
The utility plans to check the levels of hydrogen in the pipes at the plant’s Nos. 2 and 3 reactors, which were also damaged in the crisis that caused radiation leakage.