Australian news, and some related international items

New images from inside Fukushima reactor spark safety worry

 Images captured by a robotic probe inside one of the three melted reactors
at Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant showed exposed steel bars
in the main supporting structure and parts of its thick external concrete
wall missing, triggering concerns about its earthquake resistance in case
of another major disaster.

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power
Company Holdings, has been sending robotic probes inside the Unit 1 primary
containment chamber since last year. The new findings released Tuesday were
from the latest probe conducted at the end of March. An underwater remotely
operated vehicle named ROV-A2 was sent inside the Unit 1 pedestal, a
supporting structure right under the core.

It came back with images seen
for the first time since an earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant 12
years ago. The area inside the pedestal is where traces of the melted fuel
can most likely be found. An approximately five-minute video – part of
39-hour-long images captured by the robot – showed that the 120-centimeter
(3.9-foot) -thick concrete exterior of the pedestal was significantly
damaged near its bottom, exposing the steel reinforcement inside. TEPCO
spokesperson Keisuke Matsuo told reporters Tuesday that the steel
reinforcement is largely intact but the company plans to further analyze
data and images over the next couple of months to find out if and how the
reactor’s earthquake resistance can be improved.

The images of the exposed
steel reinforcement have triggered concerns about the reactor’s safety.

 Daily Mail 4th April 2023


April 6, 2023 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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