Water leaks after new earthquake damage at Fukushima nuclear plant

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Cooling water levels have fallen in two reactors at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant since a powerful M7.1 earthquake hit the area last weekend, indicating possible additional damage.

fukushima damage, fukushima damage after earthquake february 2021
The utility operating a wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant said Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, it has detected cooling water levels at two of its three melted reactors have fallen over the past few days apparently due to additional damage done to its reactors from a powerful earthquake that shook the area last weekend. Picture by Daisuke Suzuki/Kyodo News via AP, File)

New damage could further complicate the plant’s already difficult decommissioning process, which is expected to take decades.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Keisuke Matsuo said the drop in water levels in the Unit 1 and 3 reactors indicates that the existing damage to their primary containment chambers was worsened by Saturday’s magnitude 7.3 quake, allowing more water to leak.

The cooling water level fell as much as 70 centimeters (27 inches) in the primary containment chamber of the Unit 1 reactor and about 30 centimeters (11 inches) in Unit 3. TEPCO wasn’t able to determine any decline in Unit 2 because indicators have been taken out to prepare for the removal of melted debris.

Since the 2011 disaster, cooling water has been escaping constantly from the damaged primary containment vessels into the basements of the reactor buildings. To make up for the loss, additional cooling water has been pumped into the reactors to cool the melted fuel remaining inside them. The recent decline in the water levels indicates that more water than before is leaking out, TEPCO said.

I think this is a no-end disaster! More here.

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