Fukushima Unit 5, New Tsunami Damage Evidence

TEPCO has published new information about units 5 and 6 at Fukushima Daiichi.

Work has begun to repair and use the subdrain system at units 5 & 6. This is a sump pump type system that removes groundwater from around the lower levels of the reactor buildings during normal operation. TEPCO is now, over 8 years later, repairing this system. The water caught by this system will be sent to the central water treatment facilities. Radiation levels in samples of this water were low but detectable.

TEPCO included new information about tsunami damage to units 5. The photos, taken in 2017, show damage to the lower levels of the reactor buildings. TEPCO does not explain why it took two years to publish this information.

These photos below show some of the damage:

Water inflow from a pump room into an electrical room at unit 5. Note the large wall gaps that have been filled in with grout type materials. TEPCO did not explain if these gaps in the concrete wall were there from before the disaster or the result of the disaster. Water can be seen pouring through a round hole in the wall.



A leaking pipe penetration that has been filled with sealers at unit 5.

Some sort of water prevention “sheet” filled with water. TEPCO did not explain if this was from before the disaster or a measure after the initial disaster.

Included in the same report was a mention that one of the two diesel generators for unit 5 spent an extended period of time offline after fuel was found to have poured into the lubrication oil tank for the generator. A loose valve was found to be the cause. Units 5 and 6 have had the nuclear fuel removed from the reactors in previous years but government safety rules still require two operable back up power generators. Routine checks found the level of the lubrication oil tank had increased. Further inspection found the leakage issue. Had this generator been used, this problem could have caused it to fail.

These problems found, while somewhat minor, show the breadth of problems at the site that still need to be managed or dealt with.



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