There have been multiple problems at Fukushima Daiichi in the contaminated water tanks farms. Initial reporting after the February earthquake assumed no major damage at any facilities at the disaster site. As more in depth inspections are taking place significant damage is being found across the plant site. This is just one of these emerging problems.
Contaminated water tanks in service at Daiichi, including newer tanks, are set on concrete. They are not bolted down. TEPCO described the potential for tank damage or rupture if they were secured to the concrete pads they sit on.
Among the tanks involved are two types:
Medium to low concentration water tanks used for storing reactor cooling water, water from sub-drains and water treatment systems.
The F tank area is higher risk water, this includes accumulated water and RO concentrated water in Units 5 and 6. Some of the tanks in the F tank area are high risk older bolt together tanks. TEPCO has given the impression that this type of tank had all either been removed or were out of service. Now we find out that these remaining bolt together tanks are still in service and holding some of the highest risk contaminated water in storage.
763 visual inspections have taken place as of March 12.
53 out of 1074 tanks in the medium to low concentration group were found to have moved.
3 out of 763 other tanks including the F tank group were found to have moved.
TEPCO is still inspecting tanks for movement.
12 connecting pipes in the D tank group had significant displacement.
From these tank areas, (B, H1, H4N, H4S, J4, J5B, H1, H4N, H4S, J4, J5,) 79 out 320 connecting pipes were inspected by removing the pipe insulation material. Data from this inspection work was not listed in the reports to date.
Connecting pipes are only reported as damaged if they had displacement over the manufacturer’s listed tolerances.
2 of the 62 bolt together tanks that remain in the F tank area had leaks. The water level in those tanks was lowered to below the leak point. TEPCO has taken the leaking tanks out of service.
This is an ongoing issue where inspections continue. As new information comes out we will issue new reports. To date TEPCO has insisted any leaked water was captured by the concrete weirs put in place around the newer tanks as they were constructed.
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