18 Avril 2012
April 18, 2012
Why containment vessels must be examined
An examination of the reactor containment vessels is essential for decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The biggest challenge in the decommissioning process is finding a way to remove the melted nuclear fuel inside the reactors and on the floor of the containment vessels.
Melted nuclear fuel is too radioactive even for robots to handle. So workers are considering filling the containment vessels with water, which shuts in the radia tion.
But highly radioactive wastewater continues to leak out of the No.1 to No.3 reactor containment vessels.
Wednesday's examination aimed to pinpoint damages to the No 2. vessel for repair.
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, and workers have been able to open the door leading to the suppression chamber at the bottom of the containment vessel.
That door on the No.3 unit had been damaged by an explosion. Inspection at the No.1 unit is being hampered by high levels of radioactive wastewater.