Date: Sunday, July 31, 2011 12:51 +0900 (JST)
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has begun a test-run of a device to cool a spent fuel storage pool where water temperature remains high.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company began test-running the cooling device at the No.4 reactor spent fuel pool on Sunday morning. The water temperature remained high there at 86 degrees Celsius on Sunday morning.
The pool holds 1,535 fuel rods, the most for any of the plant's reactors.
The wall supporting the pool was damaged in a blast on March 15th. TEPCO has reinforced the wall with steel pillars and concrete.
Workers then installed a cooling device with a heat exchanger to establish a circulatory cooling system that cools the water from the pool and returns it there.
TEPCO says it will gradually increase the volume of water flowing into the device. If no problems are found, the company plans to lower the water temperature to around 55 degrees within a month.
TEPCO is already cooling the water at the spent fuel pools at the No. 2 and 3 reactors. The utility is planning to do the same for the No. 1 reactor soon.