Fukushima: Unit 1 Cover Removal & Demolition Work To Begin Soon

TEPCO has announced their plan to remove the cover of unit 1 so that debris on the refueling floor can be cleaned off. This work will enable viewing of the spent fuel pool and the condition of the reactor well. The work has come under increased scrutiny after it was discovered that similar demolition work at unit 3 had caused contamination up to 50km from the plant due to the wind blowing radioactive building dust.

TEPCO’s plan for dismantling the mess on the refueling floor hopes to cut down on releases to the environment. They challenge may be that the releases from unit 3, even though they were considerable didn’t cause readings at the site boundary or nearby that caused anyone to take notice. Only an in plant reading near a bus stop caused an alarm, along with two contaminated workers.

The plan will involve first removing portions of the roof cover building. Upper sides will be removed but the lower sides near the first floor will be left on. A wind break type sheeting will be installed around the refueling floor as can be seen in the illustration below as the green band on the building.

u1coverremoval2014 During the dismantling process for the cover building fixative will be sprayed to attempt to hold down dust.

u1_decomm_spray1 u1_decomm_spray2 u1_decomm_spray3 Prior to the removal of the cover building an inflatable plug was installed in the equipment shaft to attempt to prevent contamination from leaving the building through that structure.

u1_plug A combination of a vacuum system, the fixative sprayer and a water spray unit will be used during demolition to try to keep dust down. TEPCO did not explain where they water will run off to or how much water they anticipate using during the process.

u1_dust_vac u1_spray u1_waterspray TEPCO cited their monitoring post system as a feature for tracking releases. The system appears to be the same one in place during the unit 3 demolition work. TEPCO does plan to re access the tactics for demolishing of the top of unit 1 during the process to see if adjustments are needed.

Original Japanese TEPCO handout: http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2014/images/handouts_140717_05-j.pdf

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