Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Inside the Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 2 Containment Vessel (1/19/2012)

In an attempt to look at the damage inside one of its failed Fukushima reactors, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) inserted an 8.5mm remote controlled endoscope and thermometer into the containment vessel of a failed reactor at the Fukushima Daiichinuclear plant.

The probe revealed corroded piping and dripping humidity, but did not reveal the water’s surface level, which TEPCO had expected to be as high as four meters. The containment vessel was flooded with seawater during the reactor meltdown when other attempts to cool it failed. Current water levels inside the reactor remain unknown.

The probe’s thermometer function proved more revealing; it recorded the interior temperature at 44.7 degrees centigrade (112 degrees Farenheit), demonstrating that the unit’s own thermometer, thought to be off by as many as 20 degrees, is still functioning accurately.

Steam and radiation affected the quality of the video, but you can see gamma rays — which are detected by the camera in a manner similar to light but not focused by the lens — in the footage looking like streaks and flashes.

-PBS, The Japan Times, EX-SKF