• Kyodo

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The operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has identified the location of a leak at the bottom of the container in the No. 1 reactor, a company official said on Wednesday.

According to a remote-controlled robot survey conducted by Tokyo Electric Power Co., water was leaking from a joint in a pipe connected to the No. 1 reactor’s primary containment vessel.

The metal bellow the joint is likely corroded from seawater that was used as an emergency measure to cool the reactor during the early stage of the nuclear crisis that followed the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the official said.

The official denied the possibility that the earthquake damaged equipment, causing the leak.

He said the company will continue to investigate if there are other leaks nearby.

Nailing down the location of water leaks is part of Tepco’s plan to scrap the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors, which suffered all suffered meltdowns.

The damaged nuclear reactors are apparently leaking water that is being injected as a coolant. Before removing the melted fuel, the utility wants to plug the leaks and fill the containers with water, which serves as a shield against radiation.