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  • » 04/18/2011, 00.00

    JAPAN

    Fukushima, nine months to return to normal at nuclear power plant



    The reactors and their spent fuel rods will be cooled in three months, a further three to six months should lead to a "cold shutdown" of the system. In 2012 families evacuated from the danger zone may be able to begin their return. Toyota reopens all plants today for the first time since March 11.

    Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - It will take six to nine months to achieve complete control of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the company that operates the plant expects to cool the reactors and spent nuclear fuel over the next three months, bringing the situation to a stable level, and continuously reducing the level of radioactive leaks.

    Three to six months will be needed, according to TEPCO, to ensure a "cold shutdown" of the system, a state in which the water cooling fuel rods is below 100 degrees celsius and the reactors are considered stable. This would allow many of the families evacuated from the area to return to their homes in 2012.

    "This is the biggest crisis since the founding of our company,” Tepco chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata told a briefing in Tokyo, adding that he would likely resign to take responsibility, possibly after a shareholders' meeting in June. It is not inconceivable that the very survival of TEPCO is in question because of the high compensation that the company must pay to those affected by the nuclear crisis, the worst since Chernobyl. In an economic framework seriously affected by the disaster, a positive note was Toyota’s announcement that starting today, the company will reopen all its facilities in Japan, for the first time since March 11, the date of the earthquake and tsunami, and although the work will be reduced to 50% due to the lack of parts to assemble.

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    See also

    21/08/2013 JAPAN
    Fukushima leaks radioactive water. Government faces nuclear emergency
    After the Japanese executive’s admission Tepco raises the situation of the eastern coasts of the country to a "level 3", or "serious accident". In recent days, more than 300 tons of radioactive water has leaked from a tank at the nuclear power plant affected by the earthquake of 11 March 2011.

    28/03/2011 JAPAN
    Fukushima still out of control: months or years to return to normal
    Radioactive levels in the sea close to the reactors 5 and 6 grows, while there are problems to reactivate the normal cooling system. A British expert says: "The complexity of the situation is certainly equal to that of Chernobyl."

    12/03/2012 JAPAN
    Japan remembers its 19,000 tsunami victims
    The country halts on Sunday for a minute of silence. A memorial is inaugurated in Tokyo for the victims. Some 16,000 people protest against nuclear power, demand compensation for victims.

    16/07/2007 JAPAN
    A strong earthquake in Niigata, four dead and 400 injured
    Is the provisional toll from the earthquake which hit north-western Japan. A nuclear power plant is damaged; authorities assure no radiation leak.

    06/07/2011 JAPAN
    Tokyo plans new "stress test" for its nuclear facilities
    Many reactors stopped for routine maintenance were not put back into use for the fear aroused by the Fukushima disaster. The new controls are intended to reassure people. In force as of July 1, a cut of 15% of electricity consumption. Two reactors operating without government approval.



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