April 18, 2012
TEPCO plans to use a robot today to photograph possible damage inside the suppression pool at the bottom of Fukushima’s damaged number 2 reactor.
TEPCO is the operator of the tsunami damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan.
“We want to check whether there is no deformation or damage in the suppression pool. And, with any luck, we hope to see areas where water (injected into the reactor as a coolant) may be leaking,” TEPCO spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said, according to Nuclear Street News.
The suppression pool is a doughnut-shaped vessel connected to the primary containment structure designed to hold cooling water.
Reactor number 2’s 34 meter high containment structure contains only 60 centimeters of cooling water, according to an endoscope survey conducted in March.
NHK World reported today that highly radioactive wastewater continues to leak out of the number 1 and number 3 reactor containment vessels. “The No.2 unit was the first to be inspected because its reactor building is less damaged compared to that of the No.1 and No.3 units,” NHK explains.
Reactor number 2, according to Arnie Gundersen, is highly radioactive. “The radiation fields at Reactor No. 2 are comparable to what we see in space,” he told WBAI’s Five O’Clock Shadow. “It’s leaking like a sieve… No one knows how they’re ever going to remove the fuel in my lifetime… likely for 50, 60, 70 years until some of this radiation decays away… and that’s the good news. Units 1 and 3 they can’t even get into because they’re even worse.”
Gundersen is chief engineer of energy consulting company Fairewinds Associates and a former nuclear power industry executive.