Japanese Reactor Building has Slight Tilt


New York Times
June 28, 2012

A heavily damaged reactor building at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has a slight tilt, but the tilt does not pose a risk to the integrity of the building, according to the plant’s operator.

The Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, said in a report Monday to Japanese nuclear regulators that at least two of the walls of the No. 4 reactor building are bulging outward at various points and that the building is tilting. The biggest bulge measured about 1.8 inches about a third of the way up the building, the report said.

The latest findings could add to concerns over the state of the No. 4 reactor building, which houses on its upper floors a cooling pool filled with more than 1,000 spent nuclear fuel rods. Some experts say that the building – ravaged in a hydrogen explosion in the early days of the disaster in March 2011 – is not strong enough to support the fuel pool, especially if another earthquake hits the region.

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