The temperature at the bottom of the reactor 2 pressure vessel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant appears to be lowering but still needs close monitoring, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday.

Tepco said Wednesday a temperature of 68 degrees was logged at 10 a.m. and 65.4 an hour later.

On Feb. 1, the temperature was 52 degrees before moving higher until Monday, when it reached 71. Although the temperature is fluctuating, it appears to be easing, utility officials said.

“It’ll take a little while to determine the overall tendency, but compared with the data from (Tuesday), I think the temperature is on a downward trend,” Tepco spokesman Hikaru Kuroda said in the morning.

Close monitoring will be necessary for several days, and “if the downward trend stops after two or three days, we’ll have to come up with some new measures,” Kuroda said.

Tepco upped the water injections into the reactor Tuesday from 10.5 tons per hour to 13.5 tons. Some held boric acid to prevent a sustained chain reaction.

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