Three storage tanks, including the one that has leaked water contaminated with radioactive substances, had been disassembled before being moved to the current area at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, TEPCO said Saturday.
TEPCO said the three tanks were disassembled due to land subsidence in the area where they were initially installed within the premises of the plant, heavily damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The tanks underwent checks for water leaks before they were transferred to the current area, and it is unclear whether there is a causal connection between the tainted water leaks and the reuse of the tank in question, TEPCO said.
No water leaks have been detected for the other two tanks, but TEPCO will start transferring contaminated water in them to other tanks on Sunday, it said. In June 2011, TEPCO started installing tanks of the same type as the leaky one at the plant.
The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has detected the highest radiation levels at the facility since the initial earthquake and tsunami five months ago, a company spokesman said Tuesday.
The ultra-high levels of radiation were measured Monday afternoon on the grounds of the facility, between reactors No. 1 and 2, Tokyo Electric Power Company spokesman Naoki Tsunoda. The lethal radiation was found at the bottom of a ventilation tower.
The power company immediately cordoned off the area and is currently investigating the cause of the high radiation and how it will affect the recovery work at the plant, Tsunoda said.
The radiation levels — 10,000 millisieverts per hour — are high enough that a single 60-minute dose would be fatal to humans within weeks.
Japanese officials are readying a new approach to cooling reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant after discovering an Olympic swimming pool-sized pond of radioactive water in the basement of a unit crippled by the March earthquake and tsunami.
The discovery has forced officials to abandon their original plan to bring under control the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant as they focus on how to deal with the rising pool that some experts see as a threat to groundwater and the Pacific coast.
Despite the setback, Japanese nuclear safety officials and the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), plan to stick to a target of stabilizing the plant and bringing its reactors to a state of "cold shutdown" by January.
The government will likely go ahead with a plan to spray resin inside the troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which it hopes will contain the spread of radioactive substances, sources said Wednesday.
The government has begun full-fledged discussions on different plans to stop the spread of radioactive substances that have been leaking continuously from damaged reactors at the plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
It is believed spraying resin would minimize the spread of radioactive substances, which would allow repair work at the plant to proceed more smoothly, the sources said. Efforts to restore the reactors’ cooling functions have seesawed repeatedly, with the detection Wednesday of radioactive iodine-131 at levels 3,355 times the legal limit in seawater near the plant being the latest wrench in the works.
Spraying resin on debris inside the plant could begin as early as Thursday, the government sources said. The operation would last for about two weeks, they said.
The plan involves using a remote-controlled robot to spray resin over about 80,000 square meters inside the 120,000-square-meter facility. The areas to be sprayed were contaminated by radiation from debris scattered by several hydrogen gas explosions in the days after the March 11 earthquake.
Synthetic resin would likely be used, possibly Kurita Water Industries Ltd.’s Kuricoat C-720 Green. The product is usually used to prevent dust and sand from being blown off reclaimed and developed land. Coating the debris with resin is expected to prevent the radioactive materials from spreading into the air.
Japanese authorities are nearing a decision to release radioactive steam from a troubled nuclear reactor, industry minister Benri Kaieda said Saturday.Kaieda was referring to the rising pressure inside the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, which was hit by a powerful earthquake Friday.
Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa on Friday ordered the Self-Defense Forces to act in response to the state of atomic power emergency declared following a powerful earthquake.
The SDF will send aircraft on a fact-finding mission near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant as some 3,000 residents nearby have been ordered to evacuate due to a problem with a cooling system detected at one of its reactors.