Tepco Seeks to Start Reactor Idled in 2007 as Crews Battle Fukushima Leaks
By Tsuyoshi Inajima, Yuji Okada and Michio Nakayama, Bloomberg News
Apr 13, 2011 10:53 PM ET
Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to seek government approval to start a nuclear reactor shut after a 2007 earthquake to help ease power shortages, while the utility battles radiation leaks from its Fukushima Dai-Ichi station.
“This ‘operations first, safety second’ approach and the failure to learn the lessons from the 2007 quake was the cause of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear disaster,” said Philip White, international liaison officer at the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center in Tokyo. “How many more disasters will it take?”
Three of seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa station are closed while Tepco strengthens structures to improve their resistance to earthquakes. Work can continue at two units, while Unit 3 is restarted, Shimizu said yesterday.
Tepco Said to Plan for Three Months of Cooling at Fukushima
By Jason Clenfield, Bloomberg News
Apr 14, 2011 1:29 AM ET
Tokyo Electric Power Co. estimates the fight to stabilize its crippled Fukushima reactors will last through June, leaving the plant vulnerable to further earthquakes and radiation leaks, according to a person briefed by the utility on its recovery plan.
The primary danger at the plant is reactor No. 1, where temperatures and pressure are still high, the person said. Flooding the space between the pressure vessel and a surrounding containment with water would bring temperatures down in days rather than months, the person said.
While Tokyo Electric’s plan for ending the crisis says getting exposed fuel rods covered with water again is one measure of stabilization, according to the person briefed on the document, the utility’s data shows pumping efforts have failed to raise the water level more than 20 centimeters in the 35 days since the disaster started.