SOURCE: Industrial Info Resources

Industrial Info Resources

March 16, 2011 23:23 ET

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Update, an Industrial Info News Alert

TOKYO--(Marketwire - March 16, 2011) - Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- On Thursday, March 17, at 9:30 a.m. JST, firefighting trucks were dispatched to Tokyo Electric Power Company Incorporated's (TYO:9501) (TEPCO) (Tokyo) Fukushima Daiichi units 3 and 4 to replenish water in the spent fuel pool. Because Unit 3 has not reached a stable temperature, the spent fuel rods continue to produce heat. Water must be kept flowing through the spent fuel pool to keep the system cool, or the high temperatures of the spent fuel rods will cause the water to boil off. If the spent fuel rods are exposed, they will begin to melt and emit radiation.

At 9:48 a.m. JST, helicopters began releasing seawater over Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station units 3 and 4 in an attempt to cool the units. TEPCO is also discussing the option of releasing boric acid over Unit 4. Boric acid has a high boiling point of 300 degrees Celsius. When water, which has a boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius, is mixed with boric acid, its boiling point rises. The current temperature of Unit 4 is approximately 180 degrees Celsius. Between helicopter-delivered water and possible boric acid treatment, Unit 4 could reach stable temperatures.

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