New Fukushima Unit 1 Investigations Begin

A series of new robot investigations were announced by TEPCO last week. These efforts are to gather data about general conditions, radiation levels and containment penetration leaks in the SHC room, TIPS room and Airlock Chamber.

TIPS room access was attempted in 2012 but failed when the robots were unable to unlock the steel door. Radiation levels in this hallway area have been high. TEPCO did not elaborate on a plan to open that door. TEPCO hopes to access the TIPS room as a route to reach down through the floor to do sealing work on a damaged vacuum breaker on the torus structures below.

The SHC room, a room adjacent to the room that houses the main steam valves will also be inspected by robot. This attempt should gather data needed to determine the state of the area and the potential for human entry. TEPCO assumes some sort of work may be needed in the main steam valve room and SHC room in order to seal containment for possible containment flooding for decommissioning work.

The Airlock Chamber will also be inspected. TEPCO didn’t elaborate on the purpose but noted there were leaks known in that location that may have to be sealed.

The TIPS room work is scheduled for September to October 2015
The Main Steam Valve room is scheduled to start mid-October to late November 2015
The SHC room would not be attempted until early 2016
The Airlock Chamber room would be surveyed in December of 2015

A group of much smaller robots than have been used in the past are scheduled to be used for this work. This would include a robotic camera with its own drive system, a 3D scanner, gamma camera and radiation detector.

A rough machine translation of the TEPCO handout can be found here

The original TEPCO handout can be found here

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