JAPAN | N-bldg cover to be built, unbuilt, rebuilt

Posted on June 20, 2011



IWAKI, Fukushima–Work to assemble parts of a giant cover for the No. 1 nuclear reactor building at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is proceeding at a fever pitch at Onahama Port in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.

The giant cover is designed to prevent most radioactive substances from dispersing into the atmosphere from the No. 1 reactor, which was damaged by a hydrogen explosion on March 12.

It will enclose an area of 42 meters by 47 meters and will stand 54 meters high.

To limit workers’ exposure to radiation and shorten the construction period, 62 parts, including pillars, beams and polyester-sheeted panels, are being assembled at the port into a unified structure. After it is confirmed that the parts fit together properly, the cover will be disassembled and transported to the nuclear power plant by ship.

On-site assembly of the components is scheduled to start next Monday. TEPCO plans to complete the work in late September.

Final construction of the cover will be carried out by two giant cranes, which will be remote-controlled.

A traditional Japanese insertion-only joint method, which does not employ welding or bolts for joining materials, is being used to assemble the cover.

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