18 Avril 2012
April 18, 2012
TEPCO says no water leaks found at No.2 reactor
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says inspections using a robot have yet to find serious damage or water leaks at the facility's No. 2 reactor.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, on Wednesday sent the robot with 5 cameras and a dosimeter into a scaffold around the reactor's suppression chamber.
TEPCO said the robot found no water leaks or traces in manholes on the north and southeast sides of the chamber, where leakage had been suspected.
Workers also maneuvered the robot to check about 90 percent of the upper part of the 125-meter doughnut-shaped chamber, and found no serious damage or deformation.
But TEPCO has not confirmed whether the robot was able to capture images of pipes connecting the suppression chamber and a containment vessel where the company also suspects water leakage.
The level of radioactive water accumulated on the plant's premises keeps increasing. The water is believed to have been injected to cool the reactor, which was damaged by last year's earthquake and tsunami.
Any damage to the suppression chamber and the containment vessel will have to be repaired before the vessel is filled with water to retrieve melted fuel rods inside.
Such removal would be a crucial step in decommissioning the reactor.