Along with the CRD sensor at unit 2 that has been trending up for days, now the RPV bellows air valve sensor is trending up. This sensor is up high on the RPV cap, far away from the hot fuel. It appears to be an unusual one to “fail” as TEPCO has been quick to label it. Peter Melzer explains what this new heat up may mean:
“The bellows thermometer is near the flange of the rpv cap. This means that 1) it is difficult to conceive that the high readings are caused by damage and 2) superheated steam must be gathering under the cap. I did not recognize much steam on the endoscopy exploration, but perhaps the constant rain we saw is condensed steam. The increase in temps under the rpv cap suggest that cooling water does not reach corium in sufficient amounts anymore to keep the water temperature below boiling. Cold shutdown has come to an end.”
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