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Bubble test locates leaks of N-water in Fukushima
Publication Date : 27-09-2013
A bubble-vacuuming technique has found two possible leakage points at the bottom of a tank for storing radioactive contaminated water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. has announced.
The points are near the south end of a tank from which 300 tonnes of contaminated water escaped.
The tank is 12 metres in diameter and about 10 metres tall. Its bottom is composed of five steel plates bolted together with a total of about 300 bolts. There is sealant in the seams, and the bottom is covered by waterproof sheets.
TEPCO identified the two points by spreading bubbles over the bolts and vacuuming the bottom of the tank from below.
The bubbles were sucked through to the outside through the possible leakage points around two adjacent bolts.
Neither bolt was found to be loose. No leakage points were detected around the five bolts that had been found loose on September 20.
“We made a step toward identifying the cause of the problem. We’ll conduct further inspection to find other leakage points, if any,” said TEPCO Vice President Zengo Aizawa.