TEPCO says Reactor 4 Spent Fuel may be more damaged than previously estimated

Original Story by The Mainichi Daily News

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Thursday that the clarity of water inside the spent fuel pool of the No. 4 unit may have deteriorated based on a survey conducted by a camera.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said that visibility in the pool is only about 1 meter, far less than the approximately 7 meters needed to work at removing nuclear fuel from the pool as part of the process of scrapping the four reactors severely damaged by last year’s nuclear accident.

About a month ago, the utility known as TEPCO was able to see about 5 meters through the spent fuel pool water.

TEPCO plans to use a camera that can move underwater to conduct a more detail survey and consider ways to improve the situation, company officials said.

As for why the water has become less transparent, the officials said they were not sure whether the water was clouded by algae or other substances floating inside or there was a problem with the camera.

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