Camera shows conditions inside Fukushima reactor vessel

October 13, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

A tiny probe inserted into one of the containment vessels at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant has identified no major damage, within the camera's limited range of movement.

On Oct. 12, Tokyo Electric Power Co. released images from inside the containment vessel of the No. 1 reactor showing the chamber floor.

That reactor is considered to be the most severely damaged of the three that suffered core meltdowns in the aftermath of Japan's March 2011 quake and tsunami.

The camera found no significant damage, and the level of radioactivity of the water inside the vessel was lower than expected, TEPCO officials said. That leads them to believe that particles of melted nuclear fuel are unlikely to be seeping out of the inner core in large quantities.

The inner walls had a coating of what looked like scales, whereas fragments of a bluish material, several centimeters in size, littered the bottom. Some of them may be peelings of coating, the TEPCO officials said.

A water sample was found to contain 54 million becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter, about half the level measured in September at the same reactor building.

TEPCO officials said the water was almost neutral—neither acidic nor alkaline—and a test of its electrical conductivity showed it contained a relatively low concentration of impurities, many of which tend to be electrically conductive.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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What appear to be scraps of rust and peelings of a coating lie at the bottom of the containment vessel of the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Oct. 11 (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

What appear to be scraps of rust and peelings of a coating lie at the bottom of the containment vessel of the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Oct. 11 (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

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  • What appear to be scraps of rust and peelings of a coating lie at the bottom of the containment vessel of the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Oct. 11 (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

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