This March 11, 2019 photo, taken from Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, shows the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was struck by the 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan and is in the process of being decommissioned.
May 13, 2019
FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Monday conducted a test to temporarily halt the water being injected into one of the reactors that suffered a core meltdown in the wake of the 2011 accident
Through the test, which is the first of its kind, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. plans to obtain data on how the temperature inside the No. 2 reactor could rise in the event of an emergency and use the input to update its response.
More than eight years on from the start of what has become one of the world’s worst nuclear crises, TEPCO continues to pour water inside the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors to keep the melted fuel debris inside them cool.
At 10:40 a.m. Monday, TEPCO completely halted the water injection into the No. 2 unit, which usually receives around 3 tons of coolant per hour.
The temperature at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel, a container that is supposed to hold the fuel, stood at about 24.5 C and TEPCO expects the reading to rise by up to 4 C following the 7-hour test.
Hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011, the Fukushima nuclear complex lost nearly all its power sources and consequently the ability to cool the reactors and spent fuel pools at the Nos. 1 to 4 units.
The conditions of the reactors are now kept relatively stable through recovery efforts, but a massive amount of contaminated water has accumulated at the plant as a result.