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New Images From Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant Are Causing Big Worries

If another earthquake rocks the area, there could be trouble.


Robotic probes have dived into the watery ruins of the Fukushima nuclear power plant and revealed that vital supporting structures appear to be damaged. While the discovery is not an immediate concern, it’s feared it could become a major issue if another earthquake rocks the area.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) uses remote-controlled probes to explore the submerged depths of the nuclear power plant and keep tabs on how the massively expensive clean-up operation is going. 

According to an update [PDF] released on Tuesday, one of their robots recently took images of the Unit 1 pedestal, a supporting structure under one of the reactor cores that experienced a meltdown during the notorious 2011 nuclear disaster.

Associated Press reports that the 120-centimeter (47-inch) thick concrete wall of the pedestal was showing signs of significant damage at its base, exposing the steel reinforcement inside. 

The concern is that three of the reactors contain an estimated total of 880 tons of highly radioactive melted fuel debris. According to The Asahi Shimbun, TEPCO managed to obtain the first visual confirmation of the melted nuclear fuel in the Unit 1 reactor for the first time just last week.

The clean-up operation is still challenged with removing the fuel debris. If these support structures break, then it threatens to cause further headaches for TEPCO. 

Reports of the damage prompted the Governor of Fukushima Prefecture, Masao Uchibori, to ask TEPCO to immediately evaluate whether the structure could survive another earthquake, just like the one that prompted the catastrophe. ……………… more

April 7, 2023 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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