Photo confirms water leaks from Fukushima reactor containment vessel

November 14, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

A camera installed on a remote-controlled device captured the first direct evidence that water is leaking from a containment vessel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant operator, said Nov. 13 that the water was leaking from an unidentified source, possibly a broken part in the suppression chamber or elsewhere in the containment vessel that houses one of the three reactors that went into meltdowns as a result of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

TEPCO used the compact floating device earlier in the day to survey conditions near the No. 1 reactor's suppression chamber that lies beneath the containment vessel.

The suppression chamber, connected via vent pipes to the containment vessel, is designed to regulate pressure in the reactor in the event of an accident. Radiation levels in the area measured between 0.9 and 1.8 sieverts per hour.

Water was also found leaking from a snapped vinyl chloride pipe that extends from the bottom part of the containment vessel and is designed to collect water droplets that form on the containment vessel, TEPCO added.

TEPCO said it would continue the investigations on Nov. 14 with the remote-control device. It will try to locate the source of the leaks as part of efforts to decommission the crippled reactor, the utility said.

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The Asahi Shimbun

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  • A camera captures an image of water leaking on Nov. 13 from a snapped vinyl chloride pipe that extends from the bottom part of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant's No. 1 reactor containment vessel. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

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