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Fukushima reactor cooling problem fixed

TOKYO, July 3 (UPI) -- Cooling of the Fukushima No. 5 nuclear reactor resumed Sunday after a damaged hose was replaced, the Japanese power plant's operator said.

Cooling of the reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant was suspended at 10:15 a.m. Sunday after a worker found a makeshift hose in the cooling system had split open, Kyodo News reported. After the 3 1/2-hour stoppage, the plant temperature, which was at 110 degrees at 8:15 a.m., had risen 5 degrees.

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The hose, which carries seawater, had a tear about a foot long and nearly 3 inches wide in a part that curved into a U-shape.

The Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it would have taken about 22 hours for water in the reactor to reach the boiling point at 212 degrees.

The No. 5 reactor was brought to a stable state of "cold shutdown" after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Kyodo said, because workers were able to prevent overheating by using a residual heat removal system.

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