Cold Shutdown by January? – Reactor Temperatures Still Trouble Workers At Fukushima Daiichi

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The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun injecting water directly onto the spot in the No. 2 reactor where the fuel is believed to be located after melting down in the pressure vessel.

Tokyo Electric Power Company has been spraying water continuously into the reactors since the March accident to cool them down.

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As of 11AM on Wednesday, the bottom of the No.2 reactor was 114.4 degrees Celsius, compared to 84.9 degrees at the No.1 reactor and 101.3 at the No. 3 reactor.

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TEPCO thinks the temperature at the No.2 reactor remains higher because the injected water is not cooling the place where the melted-down fuel is located.

On Wednesday, the utility began using pipes located above where the fuel is believed to be, along with an existing pipe, to diversify the coolant passages as the exact spot where the fuel is, remains unknown.

TEPCO says the temperature at the No. 3 reactor has dropped since the same method was introduced early this month.

The firm hopes to achieve a cold shutdown with the temperatures of all the reactors being kept stable and below 100 degrees by January.

It will adjust the amount of water being sprayed and monitor the change of reactor temperatures to find out the most effective way to cool them down.

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