TEPCO unable to locate source of leak in Fukushima reactor

December 12, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

The operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is grappling to locate the source of a leak of highly radioactive water in the crippled No. 2 reactor, and will continue trying to pinpoint the cause next week.

A remote-controlled robot is now scouring the basement of the reactor building that houses the pressure suppression chamber to pinpoint the cause of the leak.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it was unable to identify the source of the leak when the robot inspected one of the eight vent pipes that connect the chamber with the containment vessel on Dec. 11.

TEPCO suspects the radioactive water is leaking from fractures near the pressure suppression chamber.

It was the first detailed inspection near the chamber.

Nuclear fuel in the No. 2 reactor melted following the earthquake and tsunami disaster last year.

A huge volume of highly radioactive water, used to cool down the fuel, has since been leaking from the reactor, TEPCO said.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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The junction of the pressure suppression chamber and a vent pipe in the No. 2 reactor was functioning properly during checks to locate the source of a leak of highly radioactive water on Dec. 11. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

The junction of the pressure suppression chamber and a vent pipe in the No. 2 reactor was functioning properly during checks to locate the source of a leak of highly radioactive water on Dec. 11. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

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  • The junction of the pressure suppression chamber and a vent pipe in the No. 2 reactor was functioning properly during checks to locate the source of a leak of highly radioactive water on Dec. 11. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

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