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TEPCO says water may be leaking from Fukushima spent fuel pool

The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says water may be leaking from the spent fuel pool of the No. 4 reactor. More than 1,500 spent fuel rods are stored in the pool, the largest number at the site.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, has been injecting water daily into the pool to make up for the loss of cooling function and prevent the fuel rods from being exposed and further damaged. The company found that water levels in the pool were 10 to 40 centimeters lower than expected despite the water injections.

TEPCO has poured in 140 to 210 tons of water over each of the last few days.

The walls of the reactor building supporting the pool were severely damaged by a hydrogen explosion last month. TEPCO says the pool may have been damaged by the blast as well.

According to a schedule announced earlier on containing the ongoing emergency, TEPCO plans to install concrete pillars to support the fuel pool by around July to increase its earthquake resistance.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 09:05 +0900 JST Copyright NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation

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