More TEPCO Announcements Today; July 24 2013

TEPCO’s daily plant data showed an increased pressure in unit 2’s containment. The increase isn’t an immediate cause for alarm but doesn’t readily have an answer for the cause. Pressure went from about 5.8 up to around 12 kPa over a 30 day period of time. Pressure has not increased at other locations within the reactor system.  TEPCO report July24_2013table_summary-e

TEPCO admitted in a press conference today that they are short of workers needed to complete the sea wall to try to contain leaking water. TEPCO representatives explained that the workers can only work limited hours. This has been the case since 2011 when structured hours, resting places and new equipment were added to prevent heat stroke and other work related deaths. Multiple workers fell ill or died due to the physical strain of working in radiation suits and masks in the hot summer weather in previous years. TEPCO seemed to say they can’t get enough replacement workers and that training has become an issue. They still insist they don’t have a worker shortage.

Work has begun inside unit 3 to remove additional debris on the 1st floor using robots. Radiation levels inside the building are still quite high even after decontamination efforts in some parts of the 1st floor. Robots are being used to remove more difficult debris.

TEPCO is also admitting the possibility that highly radioactive debris found in Naraha, 15km from the plant is possibly from the explosions there.

A 2007 report showed that TEPCO management disputed engineers claims that physical changes were needed at Fukushima to prevent severe damage by a tsunami. Back in January one of TEPCO’s executives was questioned by prosecutors in the ongoing criminal negligence investigation of the company.  If found guilty executives for the company could face prison time.

TEPCO also reported the beginning of work with a team of robots to inspect containment penetration ports on unit 2. The work is going on in the area near the steam pipes. So far no radiation readings or images from the ports themselves has been completed.




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