by James Corbett / fukushimaupdate.com / January 21, 2012 /
So what is happening at Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 2? Good question.
Last Thursday, TEPCO ran an industrial endoscope into the reactor and found some surprising results. Following is video from inside the reactor taken via the endoscope that was posted to the Telegraph:
The video shows drops of water falling like rain within the reactor’s containment vessel. The rain has been attributed to water vapor cooling in the upper part of the vessel. The vapor is generated by the heat from the melted nuclear fuel which is believed to have reached the concrete floor at the bottom of the containment, but the state of that fuel is uncertain. TEPCO has had to backpedal on its earlier belief that water in the containment reached as high as 4.5 metres, a claim that seems to have been disproven by the video, which shows iron scaffolding at a known height of four metres from the bottom of the vessel is currently exposed. Although they cannot accurately estimate what the water level in the vessel actually is, or where the fuel might be, TEPCO still believes it is “unlikely” that the fuel is exposed.
Temperature readings inside the reactor were 44.7 degrees Celsius, not far off from the 42.6 degree reading given by a thermometer on the outside of the vessel.
This new video comes even as TEPCO has announced the discovery of 500 tons of “highly contaminated” (16,200 becquerels per cubic centimeter of Cesium) water in the work pit at Reactor 2 and 600 tons of contaminated water (860 becquerels) in a work pit near Reactor 3.
A more detailed survey of the inside of the containment vessel has been set for 2017. Don’t forget to mark your calendar.