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A Japan Airlines Boeing 787, like this one seen last July in Boston, was temporarily grounded Tuesday after a mechanic spotted smoke coming from the craft's battery compartment. (AP)

Battery Problem Reported On Boeing Dreamliner In Japan

Jan 14, 2014

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Reports of white smoke from a battery compartment have temporarily grounded a Boeing 787 in Japan, nearly a year after all the new airliners were grounded owing to a problem with batteries overheating. Today's incident happened on an airliner at Tokyo's Narita Airport that had no passengers aboard.

It was during a preflight checkout that a mechanic saw smoke emerging from the underside of a Japan Airlines 787, according to Japan's NHK TV News

From the broadcaster:

"The smoke quickly stopped. Airline officials found that an electrolytic solution had leaked from an open safety valve of one of the 8 cells in a battery box at the front.

"The carrier says the battery may have overheated for an unknown reason. It says the safety valve was activated and smoke was generated when the solution evaporated."

No similar problems have been reported, according to NHK, which adds that Boeing believes the plane's battery system functioned as it should.

Boeing's 787s were cleared to return to service last April, after the airline-maker redesigned the craft's battery system. By last August, the company had delivered around 70 of the new planes, as NPR's Wendy Kaufman reported.

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