Thursday, February 25, 2021

Fukushima nuclear power plant seismometer left broken for half a year… Concealment suspicion


Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. On the 22nd, it was revealed that the nuclear power plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Corporation, did not repair the seismic meter installed in the reactor building of Unit 3, even though it learned that it failed due to heavy rain in July last year. Okuma = AP Newsis

The crisis management of Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which had an explosion during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, was on the cutting board. It is confirmed that two seismographs installed in nuclear reactor 3 at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have been left unattended. As a result, data to analyze the impact of the 7.3 earthquake and aftershock that occurred off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture on the 13th could not be obtained.

This fact was revealed late in the process of the nuclear power plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power, responding to a question at the Japan Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting held on the 22nd. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Commission recommended the installation of seismographs, which were only available in units 5 and 6, as it was necessary to check the safety of the reactor building of Unit 3 due to the impact of the explosion during the Great East Japan Earthquake. Accordingly, in March of last year, additional seismographs were installed on the 1st and 5th floors of Unit 3, respectively.

However, the first-floor seismometer broke down due to flooding due to heavy rain in July of last year, and the fifth-floor seismometer had a problem in that measurement data were in error from October last year. Nevertheless, TEPCO admitted at a meeting on the 22nd after leaving it unattended. Even after the earthquake on the 13th, several press conferences were held, but no mention was made regarding the failure of the seismometer. TEPCO said, “It took some time to analyze the cause of the error” regarding the delay in repairing the seismometer. It was also a trial installation, so he added that it did not announce the failure.

Some point out that Tokyo Electric Power is not properly disclosing important information related to nuclear power plants that are preparing for decommissioning. In this regard, it was confirmed the next day that some of the contaminated water storage tanks in the site of the 1st nuclear power plant had deviated from the normal location due to the earthquake on the 13th, but it was revealed on the 18th, five days after the earthquake. Tokyo Electric Power Corp. clarified what was not immediately announced at the time, because contaminated water was not leaking or the tank was damaged.

In the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the cooling water level in the containment vessels of Units 1 and 3 continuously decreases, or the pressure in the containment vessels decreases. However, TEPCO is repeating its position that there are no safety issues.

Tokyo= Kim Hoe-kyung Correspondent

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