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Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

March 28, 2012 by staff 

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, One of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination that renews doubts about the plant’s stability. A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor’s containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago.

The data collected Tuesday showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades.

The other two reactors that had meltdowns could be in even worse shape. The No. 2 reactor is the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far.

Tuesday’s examination with an industrial endoscope detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the chamber.

Plant officials previously said more than half of the melted fuel has breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor.

Particles from melted fuel have probably sent radiation levels up to a dangerously high 70 sieverts per hour inside the container, said Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co. The figure far exceeds the highest level previously detected, 10 sieverts per hour, which was detected around an exhaust duct shared by No. 1 and 2 units last year.

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