What Is Going On At Fukushima Daiichi Right Now

TEPCO tends to bury bits of information among obscure sources while pushing their distraction of the day at the public. These are some of the things of note this week that have changed at the plant.

Unit 2 Pressure Drop
Unit 2 has continued to see containment pressure drop. TEPCO resolved the initial drop in pressure by closing a valve. The pressure slightly recovered then began to drop again this week. It has slowly dropped each day this week and is now down to 4.70 kPa g. TEPCO makes no explanation for the ongoing loss of pressure in containment at unit 2. Readings previous to this change had been in the 15 kPa g range for months.

Unit 2 Trench Leaking

An expert from JAEA is claiming that a trench near unit 2 is still leaking out to sea. Readings in wells nearby and the pebble lining of the trench seem to indicate the area is still leaking out to sea and that the underground soil solidification effort is not stopping this leak.

Uphill Contaminated Groundwater
TEPCO is also admitting that the groundwater itself around the storage tanks uphill of the reactor area is contaminated. This may cause any potential use of their groundwater bypass wells to be ceased. It is not clear if this contamination is solely from the leaking tanks or has other causes.

Unit 1 Cover To Be Removed

TEPCO will begin removing the cover over unit 1 soon. They intend to remove debris then install a different cover that could be used to do further work such as removing spent fuel. TEPCO insists this will not create any significant radiation release to the environment. As has been seen with work at unit 3 that is doubtful that no change will happen. Unit 1 is also assumed to leak out the reactor well to some extent as unit 2 and unit 3 already are known to do.

Unit 3 Dust Problem

Unit 3 was seen steaming again yesterday. TEPCO claimed it didn’t change any radiation levels at the plant. TEPCO did do some additional review of the condition of unit 3’s refueling floor. Their conclusion was that dust and debris under the overhead crane was possibly blowing off the refueling floor causing the contamination found on workers and causing radiation spikes at the plant. Dust control spray was sprayed over the refueling floor but this may not do much about dust underneath the remaining debris.

New Effort To Inspect Torus Structures

TEPCO is adding a new set of robots to their gear. These new robots will use ultrasound to attempt to inspect the water levels inside the torus structures of the reactors. These new crawler robots can navigate the outer diameter of the torus tube.

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