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Radioactive emissions from Fukushima No. 1 plant cut in half: TEPCO

(Xinhua)

09:13, October 18, 2011

TOKYO, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Radioactive emissions from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have been cut in half, the owner and operator of the plant said Monday.

According to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)'s latest monthly review of stabilization progress, temperatures at the plant's three damaged reactors have all fallen below 100 degrees Celsius -- a prerequisite for bringing the reactors to a state known as "cold shutdown" -- and have stopped emitting radioactive steam into the environment.

In a regular press conference jointly held with government officials, the utility, also known as TEPCO, said that while multiple water sources, including the availability of fresh water being pumped from fire trucks, had helped significantly in reducing the risk of further, devastating damage being caused to the plant's reactors, risks do remain.

TEPCO maintained that the biggest risk posed to the faltering reactors was the potential for another large tsunami to knock out key water supplies. In this worst-case-scenario vital cooling processes could be severely compromised and the temperature inside the reactors could once again rise, leading to radioactive steam leaking and the possibility of further explosions, the utility said.

The operator of the plant, central to the world's worst nuclear disaster in 25 years, added that another major earthquake could cause a devastating power outage at the No. 1 facility, which would have untold affects on cooling, monitoring and decontamination systems.


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