This diagonal crack in the facade of unit 4 has been known for some time. Recently released information shows that TEPCO is doing “ground improvement work” at the base of unit 4. The spot for the ground work is at the base of this diagonal crack. The crack runs from where unit 4 connects to the building between the turbine building and the reactor building down to a spot at the base of the building where it meets the ground. This area was covered with dirt and steel plates early on in the disaster. TEPCO cited radioactive debris in the area and quickly scraped it away. So there has not been a good view of this area for months due to the plates and equipment over the dirt.
The crack itself is worrying. A continuous facade crack would likely have some form of foundation or framework involvement. So far TEPCO has made no admissions about the crack or any specific damage it may indicate. METI document explaining the work. H/T to Fukushima Diary who found the original METI report.
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