TEPCO had been inspecting the unit 1/2 vent tower at a distance after damage to the upper structural system was found a few months ago. This had involved using telephoto camera lenses to view portions of the tower. This tower has been roped off since August 2011 when extremely high radiation was found near the tower.
Now TEPCO has sent workers to take radiation readings around the base of the tower again. They found 25 seiverts at the base of the Standby Gas Treatment System pipe (SGTS) where the pipe bends and connects to the larger pipe of the vent stack.
In the new report TEPCO mentions planned efforts to either reinforce or dismantle this highly contaminated vent tower. For this work to be considered there must be serious concerns about the tower stability.
As can be seen in the photo above they used an extremely long probe to check the radiation levels this time. In 2011 a worker was sent to the base of the vent stack with a much shorter probe to take a reading. Soon after, a worker at the plant fell ill with acute leukemia, something that could have been acute radiation poisoning. The worker later died and the bar association was calling for an investigation into his death.
This is the 2011 photo of a worker investigating this same area. The bottom bend of the rusty smaller diameter pipe is the location identified today has having 25 seiverts. This same area was dangerously high in 2011. The radiation level found at the base of this stack is potentially lethal.
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