After weeks of unit 5 not having an operational spent fuel pool cooling system, TEPCO has finally replaced the leaking valve. The valve interior showed considerable corrosion that lead to the leak. TEPCO failed to explain why it took them so long to repair the system. While the repair was delayed the spent fuel pool and reactor vessel that still contains fuel had to share the reactor cooling system.
Unit 5 is the second newest reactor at the plant. This incident does raise questions about the stability and corrosion of other systems in the older units. Leaks and failures could cause additional challenges as they attempt to remove damaged fuel from the older units. Reactor monitoring showed the spent fuel pool of unit 5 going back into a cooler more stable state over the last two days.
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