Wednesday, May 28, 2014

TEPCO finds water leak area in crippled Fukushima No.1 reactor

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, said it has identified the exact location of water leakage at the bottom of the container of the plant's No. 1 reactor, local media reported Wednesday.

The company said that a remote-controlled robot survey found that water was leaking from a joint in a pipe connected to the No. 1 reactor's primary containment vessel, Kyodo News said.

The metal bellow joint is likely to have been corroded by seawater that was used as an emergency measure to cool the reactor during the early stage of the nuclear crisis triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Kyodo quoted a TEPCO official as saying.

The official, according to the report, denied the possibility that the leakage was caused because the earthquake damaged equipment, adding TEPCO will continue to investigate if there are other areas of leakage nearby.

Confirmation of locations of water leakages is an important part of TEPCO's plan to scrap the No. 1 to 3 reactors, which suffered meltdowns as the operator has to plug the leaks and fill the containers with water that serves as radiation shield so as to remove the melted fuel.

(Xinhua)- []

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