Tag Archives: Boric Acid

Radioactive gas associated with fission detected, possible new trouble at Japan’s Fukushima plant

Officials detected a radioactive gas associated with nuclear fission at Japan’s tsunami-damaged atomic power plant Wednesday, indicating there could be a new problem at one of its reactors. They injected a substance that neutralizes nuclear reactions as a precaution.

Gas from inside the reactor indicated the presence of radioactive xenon, which could be the byproduct of unexpected nuclear fission. Boric acid was being injected through a cooling pipe as a countermeasure because it can counteract nuclear reactions.

The Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, said there was no rise in the reactor’s temperature, pressure or radiation levels. The company said the radioactive materials inside the reactor had not reached criticality — the point when nuclear reactions are self-sustaining — and the detection of the xenon would have no major impact on their efforts to keep the reactor cool and stable.

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