Additional information likely to be obtained when Scorpion robot is sent in soon
TOKYO, Jan. 31-A camera placed inside the Primary Containment Vessel (PCV) of Unit 2 at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has captured intriguing images that may be fuel debris from the March 2011 accident, but further examination is necessary before that can be verified.
Reports that have been widely circulated in the media may be premature, TEPCO Holdings believes. Images said by some reports to be of “black chunks” may in fact turn out to be fuel debris, but may also be the result of missing paint or rust discoloration.
TEPCO Holdings recognizes that the matter has generated great public interest because a sighting of fuel debris would represent an important ‘first.’ But it is important that TEPCO Holdings carefully verifies what these images appear to be showing before reaching conclusions.
The pictures can be viewed at https://www4.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2017/images/handouts_170130_02-e.pdf.
Aside from the possible images of fuel debris, the imaging inside Unit 2 found other important things:
・No changes in positions of Control Rod Drive (CRD) housing, Position Indication Probe (PIP) cable, and CRD exchanger
・A part of the grating deformed
・Some deposits on the CRD rail and grating found
The imaging work was undertaken primarily to determine whether there is a clear path for the Scorpion robot to enter the Unit 2 PCV, where it is expected to search for the fuel and take readings on temperature and radioactivity. Currently, based on the images, TEPCO Holdings is determining whether to use a different robot to enter the PCV and remove obstacles that might be in Scorpion’s path.
TEPCO Holdings is providing continuous reports, including photographs and videos, on the Unit 2 examination. To see the updates, go to http://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html
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About TEPCO Group
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO Holdings) is Japan's largest power company group, holding three independent business entities: TEPCO Fuel & Power, Inc., TEPCO Power Grid, Inc., and TEPCO Energy Partner, Inc. As a group, it generates, distributes, and sells electricity and other types of energy principally to the Kanto metropolitan area, which includes Japan's two most populous cities, Tokyo and Yokohama. Its 33,000 employees are committed to providing safe, reliable power to its 29 million customers as well as fulfilling its responsibilities to the communities of Fukushima. (As of April 1, 2016)
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