This roughly 30 meter cliff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean is the east coast of Fukushima prefecture.
In this vast plateau, stands the TEPCO Fukushima number 1 nuclear power plant that was constructed.
What you see in the center are reactors 1 through four,
and in the upper left are reactors 5 and 6,
a total of 4,700,000 kilowatts.
This nuclear power plant underwent a detailed examination over a period of two years,
and in December 1966 construction began.
[Fukushima's Nuclear Power]
The most important thing at a nuclear power plant
is how to use nuclear energy safely,
and to that end unbelievable amounts of detailed attention is paid to safety.
In this power plant, a type of reactor called a "boiling water reactor" is used.
Let's take a look at how it works.
Inside the reactor is water, uranium fuel,
and control rods which control the release of energy.
Those items are called the "reactor pressure vessel,"
and the pressure vessel is further encased by the containment vessel,
and the outside of that is wrapped in several layers of thick concrete.
If the control rods are removed a uranium chain reaction occurs,
and the heat from this turns the reactor water into steam which gets sent to the turbine.
In other words, you can say that nuclear power generation
is like swapping the boiler of a thermal power plant with a nuclear reactor.
The pressure vessel and containment vessel are both made of thick sheets [of metal].
The pressure vessel is 16 centimeters thick,
the containment vessel is 3 centimeters thick,
and outside of the containment vessel is a two meter wall of shahei (see desc) concrete.
Well then, let's take a look at the construction of Fukushima #1 NPP reactor 1.
September 1967, installation of the thick metal containment vessel that houses the pressure vessel, began.
The (?)-style containment vessel is split into giant blocks, carefully carried to position and welded.
The spherical diameter: 17.7 meters
Diameter of the upper cylinder (opening): 9.6 meters
Below the containment vessel, there is a special device to protect the reactor:
a donut shaped suppression chamber is being built.
The 32 meter tall containment vessel is complete.
After the containment vessel is built, it undergoes a strict testing of factors
like whether or not it can withstand the specified pressure, and is confirmed safe.
The reactor building is built on sturdy land,
and is over three times stronger than a normal building,
so it is built to easily withstand even a violent earthquake.
The thick concrete that surrounds the containment vessel needs to account for
the swelling of the vessel and a 5 cm gap is built.
A large amount of concrete is poured into a lattice of many thick rebars.
The two meter thick concrete wall encloses the containment vessel.
Meanwhile, in a Yokohama factory, the pressure vessel production was continued.
The 16 centimeter thick sheets are heated to an easily moldable temperature,
then bent using a large hydraulic press.
Then, the workers weld several cylinders of about 5 meters in diameter,
and stack them into a 19 meter high pressure vessel.
To prevent corrosion on the inside of the pressure vessel, it is lined with stainless steel.
The pressure vessel, which can also be called the heart of nuclear power,
undergoes strict atomic level examinations.
One of those is an ultrasonic exam that checks for internal defects.
The final water pressure test.
After two years of production, the pressure vessel has been completed.
The construction of a harbor facing the Pacific.
This port will protect against wild ocean waves,
and facilitate the use of ocean water as coolant,
and the delivery of fuel and supplies.
About 10,000 tetrapods weighing between 8 and 20 tons are made at the block yard on site.
The tetrapods are carefully stacked in the breakwater area.
This (?) work was carried out while battling ocean waves.
After four years, the breakwater construction was finally completed.
As the construction finished, people from nearby Okuma and Futaba started coming,
and even people from far away came to be seen at the construction site.
The construction of the coolant water inlet channel,
and the plant itself headed into a golden age.
The eagerly awaited ship and the pressure vessel from the Yokohama factory, have arrived.
The view upward of the 441 ton pressure vessel.
The careful process of moving it on rollers.
The heart of the power plant, quietly hoisted as people patiently watch over.
During a nervous period, the pressure vessel gradually (slides into?) the containment vessel.
In order to allow the uranium fuel to properly maintain a long-term fission chain reaction,
a number of mechanisms are installed.
A jet pump that allows the water to be circulated efficiently.
Control rods and fuel assemblies will be inserted into this (construction?).
The control rods that (?) lowers, go up and down the crevices of the fuel assemblies,
and fill the role of regulator by suppressing or promoting fission.
The central operations room
in here equipment that can regulate factors such as the fission rate, temperature, pressure, equipment is set-up
and the workers control every aspect of the plant.
If an abnormal situation occurs,
the workers have quick access to options like sounding alarms, or shutting down the reactor.
Before operation, there are many tests, but one of the most important is the control rod test.
The workers test each rod thoroughly one by one.
The control rods move using a hydraulic pump.
A SCRAM test, which lowers all 97 rods at once, was also carried out.