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Japan: Nitrogen injected to prevent explosion

04-07-2011 08:55 BJT Special Report:9.0 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Japan |

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In Japan, the operator of the disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant has injected nitrogen into its Number One reactor to prevent any new explosions.

As TEPCO struggles to bring the plant under control, there WAS been some good news on Wednesday--the highly radioactive water, that was leaking into the Pacific, has been stopped. Keith Crane has more.

It's been more than three weeks since the cooling system was crippled by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. But the plant is still far from being stabilized.

Although TEPCO says there is no immediate threat of more explosions, the injection of nitrogen is an indication of the seriousness of the remaining challenge.

Nitrogen can prevent highly combustible hydrogen from exploding, as it did three times at the compound in the early days of the crisis.

Workers have suffered near-daily setbacks in their race to cool the plant's reactors.

The injection of 15 hundred liters of "water glass", or sodium silicate, and other hardening agents, near the seaside pit appear to be successful.

The progress limits the contamination of the surrounding environment, but now workers must turn their focus to their primary goal: cooling the reactors and bringing them under control.

That mission has been hampered by highly contaminated water throughout the plant, making it difficult or impossible to access some areas.

Meanwhile, checks on other possible leaks continue. As Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says, "we are not finished yet".

 

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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