Robots with sophisticated gamma scanning cameras were sent in to unit 1 to establish contaminated areas as decontamination efforts take place. One area that has been of particular concern since 2011 is a section on the 1st floor that had unusually high radiation. The same area had steam coming out of the floor in 2011 through the pipe penetration. This area is above the torus room in a section over the #8 downcomer pipe. This also is the section of the torus that faces the pedestal doorway. This is a known route for melted fuel to leave the pedestal and potentially burn through the containment structure. If this were to happen, the area of the #8 downcomer is the most likely location for melted fuel to burn through. We have documented this before and our recent corium experiment shows this scenario. TEPCO has repeatedly refused to release the only video of this section of the torus room citing there was nothing there.
From TEPCO’s reporting these new conclusions can be made:
- The highly radioactive pipe is the torus emergency vent pipe (this leads out to the vent tower)
- It is possible the pipe itself has shifted position laterally up to 2 inches based on 2011 and 2012 images, there is concern the pipe may have broken below the floor
- The elbow in the pipe is considerably more radioactive than other portions of the pipe
- TEPCO thinks the high radiation is higher below the floor. The area around the pipe penetration is about 5 Sv/h, too high for workers to approach
- Areas of the pipe that run across the 1st floor area are over 1 Sv/h
- The pipe of a standby cooling system also had elevated radiation levels
vent pipe exiting torus room to first floor
High radiation area in vent pipe
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