Fukushima Tank Leaks Thought To Be Caused By Previous Damage
TEPCO now thinks the highly radioactive water tanks that leaked this week was due to damage done previously to the tanks.
The tanks were originally set up in another location. All of the bolt together tanks have been sited on a packed down mixture of concrete powder and dirt. This mixture is not completely waterproof. In the original location, this mixture shifted as the ground beneath the tanks subsided 20cm.
When this was discovered the tanks were disassembled and moved to the current location (H4).
TEPCO now thinks this series of incidents where the ground beneath the tanks subsided and the disassembly & reassembly of the tanks may have caused distortion in the tank panels. If the panel and the gaskets do not seal completely leaks are an obvious possibility. In photos released by TEPCO it shows the bottom of these tanks also include bolt together panels rather than a single solid base piece.
TEPCO also admitted over the weekend that they had left drain valves on the barrier wall for the tanks open. These barriers are intended to stem leaks from the tanks but water was found to have leaked out the barrier by way of the valve. This leaked water found its way into a drainage canal that leads directly to the Pacific.
TEPCO Handout http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2013/images/handouts_130824_01-j.pdf
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