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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Japan disaster plant cold shutdown could face delay

Members of the Japanese government panel to investigate the accident at Fukushima nuclear power plant, inspect the damaged building housing the No.3 reactor at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, in this handout picture taken by the investigation panel on June 17, 2011 and distributed by Kyodo on June 18, 2011. MANDATORY CREDIT REUTERS/Kyodo COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN
TOKYO | Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:37am EDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Wednesday that it may fail in its bid to achieve "cold shutdown" at its tsunami-hit nuclear plant in Fukushima by January, as the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years rumbles on.Efforts to decontaminate highly radioactive water at the facility have been delayed by repeated breakdowns of cesium absorption instruments, which have caused water leakage and malfunctioning of pumps, threatening to delay the process of stabilizing the stricken plant.
"It's possible that decontamination may not be completed as planned by the year-end, although we have not yet decided to change the target. That could affect the cold shutdown process," a company spokesman told Reuters.
His comments follow a similar statement on Tuesday, reported in the Nikkei business daily, from Junichi Matsumoto, a Tepco spokesperson on nuclear issues.

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