New Unit 1 Findings Indicate Contamination Path

u1_ventstack_torus_mapTEPCO’s new reports on the unit 1 torus room already showed that a vacuum breaker caused an issue. Now they are admitting some issues near the venting pipe, but we found even more.

The venting pipe has about 2.4 sieverts per hour near it as taken with the survey robot. Previous work found about 4 sieverts an hour in another section of that pipe on the first floor and considerable radiation coming from the vent pipe itself. The vent pipe outside after it joins the shared vent stack is extremely radioactive. It has not been determined if unit 1 or unit 2 caused the high radiation in the shared pipe outside.

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On closer visual inspection it appears there is a crack in the torus tube next to the vent pipe and a dent in the vent pipe. This is evidence of event damage to the torus itself. TEPCO likely already suspects such a problem as they have spent considerable time and effort examining the torus tube at unit 2 and eventually will at unit 1 looking for breaks or cracks that could allow leakage.

The concern TEPCO has had for the vacuum breaker tubes seems well founded. They are a known location that can fail in an event and cause a direct path from the drywell of containment into the air above the water of the torus. This could take on new significance if this were to be happening at the same time that containment is vented via the torus.

TEPCO claims that additional work will be done to inspect all areas of the torus room. To date only one minute of video has been released of two days of work by multiple robots. Earlier work suffered from highly edited and missing sections of unit 1 torus inspections.

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