Demolition Rig For Fukushima Vent Tower Has 3 Failures

The remote cutting rig for dismantling the highly contaminated unit 1-2 vent tower has had three failures since it began work on August 1st.

The first failure was part of the electric motors that powered the chip saws. Excessive wear was noted on the blades for saws A & C. TEPCO has determined that cutting through welded joints in the tower vent tube contributed to the failure. High winds during previous removal of the rig is assumed to have misaligned parts in the tensioning system that pushes the saw to the wall of the tower tube.

On August 21, workers tried to operate chip saws B & D. Saw B failed to work. TEPCO notes that the saws were checked before the rig was placed back into the vent tower. It was discovered that the electrical wiring to the saw was not properly connected. TEPCO now plans to check the electrical connections for all saws on the cutting rig to assure they are properly connected. It appeared that an insufficient amount of bare wire was stripped and connected into the electrical connector causing the wiring problem.

The last report on this was August 27th. A return to work date was not provided in the reports. Similar groups of minor failures have been plaguing the unit 3 spent fuel removal equipment.


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