Work began in late May to remove some of the bolt together tanks at Fukushima Daiichi. The bolt together tanks were installed in a hurry after the initial accident. It was after they were in use that it came out that these tanks only had a 3-5 year life span due to the gaskets used between the tank panels. The tanks were purchased used. A combination of the second hand tanks, poor installation and the temporary design led to tanks leaking. The caused some of the largest radiation leaks at the disaster site since the initial accident.
The H2 tank farm is currently being prepared for removal with the H1 tank farm to follow. The removal process will include draining the tank contents down to 10cm using a portable pump. An air filtration system installed on the lower side pipe will be used to try to avoid air releases of radiation. Once the tank is opened it would be drained of the remaining water. Before final tear down the interior of the tanks will be sprayed with dust inhibitor. What is not mentioned is how the dis-assembly would be done. If it can be done remotely using heavy equipment or if it will require hands on human effort to unscrew the bolts holding the tank panels together. The anticipated radiation exposure to workers for this project was also not mentioned.
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