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TEPCO camera peeks inside Fukushima reactor to assess coolant water level

Tokyo, Fri, 20 Jan 2012 ANI

Tokyo (Japan), Jan.20 (ANI): The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) in Japan said Thursday that it has inserted an industrial endoscope into the primary containment vessel of reactor unit 2 at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, which showed the level of coolant water was lower than the utility had estimated.


According to the Japan Times and the Kyodo news agency, the endoscope took images of the vessel's interior around four meters from the bottom, but failed to detect any coolant water.


Tepco had projected that the water level would have risen to about 4.5 meters in the vessel, based on the difference in pressure between its main body and a lower component, known as the suppression chamber.


Images taken by the endoscope showed the vessel was full of moisture, but the pipes and walls did not appear to be damaged, Tepco said.


Obtaining a clearer picture inside the containment vessels of the three crippled reactors is critically important, as the vessels are the last line of defense containing their melted nuclear fuel.


Tepco also needs to find out about the state of the melted nuclear fuel at the reactor cores, the level of coolant water and the extent of the damage to the containment vessels.


The endoscope is unlikely to help Tepco to determine the state of the melted nuclear fuel, much of which is believed to have burned down to the bottom of the containment vessels, but will hopefully shed some light on coolant water levels and internal damage. (ANI)


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