Fukushima Unit 2 Containment Inspection Delayed To January

TEPCO announced that the problems created by the stuck shielding blocks and high radiation in the work area will require the containment inspection to be delayed until January 2016. Rusted shielding blocks caused ongoing delays as they tried to determine a way to remove them. The area also has radiation levels as high as 1 sievert/hour. This has prevented workers from being in the area for any extended time.

NHK reports that human workers were used to operate a piece of heavy equipment to dislodge the blocks. They worked in shifts with a large amount of physical shielding attached to the heavy equipment unit to help lower worker exposures. NHK reported the workers received 2.5 millisieverts of external exposure each for their work.

The long delay is due to the need to decontaminate the work area before human workers can enter. There is already a series of robots used on site for decontamination, these will likely be used to attempt to lower the radiation dose.

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