Fri, 19 Jul 2013 11:00:00 GMT | By AFP

Fukushima steam still baffling: TEPCO

The Japanese power company says it is looking at the possibility that accumulated rainwater may have caused steam formation, but admits it does not know for sure

Fukushima steam still baffling: TEPCO (© Reuters)

Tokyo: The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on Friday said it still did not know what caused steam seen inside a reactor building, nor why it was no longer there.

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) spotted water vapour around the fifth floor of the building housing the badly-damaged Reactor 3 yesterday. The company said it was looking at the possibility that accumulated rainwater had been the cause, but admitted today it still did not know for sure.

TEPCO, which has faced repeated criticism for playing down problems or not being open about the difficulties it faces at Fukushima, said the steam did not contain an abnormally high level of radiation. "We still don't know what caused the steam and are currently investigating," said a spokesman. "Workers will today use a remotely-controlled crane and measure the temperature of the area."

The reactor, broken by a massive tsunami in March 2011, is too dangerous to approach but a camera feed showed steam was no longer visible this morning, the utility said. The roof of the building was blown off in a hydrogen explosion days after meltdowns that were sparked when cooling systems were flooded by the deadly waves.


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