TEPCO has announced a delay in the start up of the new decontamination system at Fukushima Daiichi. The system was supposed to go online this fall but remains delayed as TEPCO tries to find acceptable storage containers for the sludge created by the new system.
TEPCO did drop tests recently to see how these new containers would hold up to various ways they might be dropped as they are moved about the plant. The drop tests were quite the series of failures. The tanks were procured from Energy Solutions of Barnwell, SC (US), a company located near the Savannah River nuclear site. The High Integrity Container tested by TEPCO doesn’t mention the exact material composition. A press release from Energy Solutions announcing their partnership with Toshiba to provide these casks and other technology describes the casks as proprietary technology.
TEPCO tested the casks by a variety of drop scenarios including dropping it flat, at an angle and tipping over while suspended. The tipping and angle drops produced catastrophic failures in the casks while dropping from fairly minor heights. TEPCO told the oversight board they plan to look for a way to reinforce these containers to make them work.
Dropped at an angle from a minor height caused a very large dent in the metal holding container.
A tipping fall caused the lid to fail and water to spill out everywhere
One of the drop scenarios cracked the container all the way through and left a gap.
TEPCO’s details on the cask testing in Japanese: TEPCO_Cask_Testing_handouts_121217_02-j
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