Japan news, march 20. no gases to be released from no. 3 reactor

The Tokyo Electric Power Company has decided against releasing gases from the overheating No. 3 reactor in an attempt to reduce pressure inside the containment vessel.

TEPCO officials in Fukushima said on Sunday afternoon that pressure within the reactor containment vessel has begun to stabilize, and gases don't need to be released for the time being.

They say they will closely monitor the situation.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency announced earlier on Sunday that pressure inside the vessel is rising despite efforts to cool the reactor by spraying seawater inside it.

The agency said the pressure must be reduced to protect the containment vessel, which holds radioactive materials inside in the event of an accident.

A release of gases could lead to radioactive substances being released into the environment.

Power company officials in Fukushima also say work to restore electricity to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant by connecting the damaged reactors to external power sources is continuing.
Sunday, March 20, 2011 17:42 +0900 (JST)