Wednesday, May 18, 2011

16/05 Robot pics show damage in reactor building

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The floor in the southwest section of the No. 1 reactor building at TEPCO's crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture is covered with debris, apparently as a result of a hydrogen explosion that occurred in March, according to photos released by the plant's operator.

The blast also apparently blew the door off an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, leaving wires dangling in the air and exposing the gaping elevator shaft.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. released photos showing five sections of the reactor building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Saturday .

The photos were taken by a remote-controlled robot Friday and by workers last Monday.

Very high radiation levels of 2,000 millisieverts per hour were detected near the doors in the southeast corner through which the robot entered the building, but the photos did not show any serious damage in this area.

TEPCO believes the high radiation reading was the result of toxic water passing through pipes nearby.

A hydrogen explosion rocked the building a day after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out the plant's cooling systems.

(May. 16, 2011)

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