TEPCO has given out more information about the design of 300+ tanks being used on site to hold highly radioactive waste water. They earlier admitted the tanks has been assembled then reassembled elsewhere after the ground beneath them subsided. This is thought to have distorted the bolt together sections and gaskets on the tanks causing the leaks.
In the released photos they show that the bottom of these tanks are not one solid piece but are sections bolted (or riveted) together with gaskets on the interior of the tank. TEPCO admitted months ago that the exterior bolts of these tanks were working loose causing small tank leaks. Workers re tightened bolts on the tank exteriors to try to prevent leaks. Who then tightens the bolts (or checks the rivets) inside the bottom of a tank full of highly radioactive waste water? In the photos TEPCO released over the weekend showed the interior of one of the drained leaking tanks where the gasket is distorted.
The tanks sit atop a 20cm slab of concrete that is on top of 1 meter of dirt mixed with concrete powder. This is far from effective. Weeds have made their way through the concrete. This is in the location of the number 4 and number 5 tanks at H4 where the high radiation leak was found.
There are over 300 of these tanks, some with highly radioactive waste water. METI has said they might throw some money at the problem, but the frozen wall issue won’t even have funding considered until 2014 so don’t expect a solution for the tanks coming from the government any time soon.
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