March 28, 2012
One of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination tthat renews doubts about the plant’s stability.
A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No 2 reactor’s containment chamber yesterday for the second time since a tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago.
The data showed the damage from the disaster was so severe the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades.
The other two reactors that had meltdowns could be in worse shape. The No 2 reactor is the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far.
The examination with an industrial endoscope detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the chamber. Plant officials previously said more than half of the melted fuel had breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor.
This article was posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 3:05 am