TEPCO locates radioactive water leak at Fukushima

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

(AVN/NHK) – The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has pinpointed the location where radioactive water is leaking at one of the facility’s damaged reactors.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says a remote-controlled camera in a room just outside the containment vessel recorded water leaking from a joint where a pipe is connected to the vessel.

TEPCO says the water flow is about the width of two to four pencils and is continuous. After reaching the floor, the water is flowing away from the containment vessel and spreading across the floor.

The utility believes that what is being released is water injected into the vessel to cool melted nuclear fuel inside. Based on the findings, TEPCO plans to study ways to stop the leak.

This is the first time for TEPCO to pinpoint the exact location of a leak from one of the reactors that suffered meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Identifying the specific locations of the water leakage is important for TEPCO’s plan to remove melted nuclear fuel after plugging the leaks and filling the vessels with water.

The utility is also planning to conduct robotic surveys of the two other reactors. One will focus on the bottom section of the containment vessel of the No.1 reactor, where water flow was earlier detected.

Another survey will cover a unit called a suppression chamber situated below the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor.

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