Toshiba's SARRY is a system with tall metal towers filled with different types of zeolites to absorb radioactive cesium in the water contaminated after being injected into the Reactor Pressure Vessels of Reactors 1, 2 and 3. It has pretty much replaced the trouble-prone Kurion system that operates on basically the same principle. As AREVA's decontamination system has also been stopped since September last year (when AREVA's system was found to increase the radioactivity; too radioactive even to enter the building, according to workers who tweet from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant), SARRY has been doing all the decontamination of radioactive materials from the water before the desalination process.
TEPCO released the photographs of the improvement it did to the system that is housed in the Miscellaneous Solid Waste Volume Reduction Treatment Building. There have been several leaks in the different parts of the system since the beginning of this year. Here's one from this March, from a bad weld. Here's another in February, when they found 3 Sieverts/hour radiation from the sludge from the pipe.
I was dismayed and sad, looking at the photographs. What's all the clutter? It looks like a half-abandoned building, not tended by workers for a long time. Look at the crude brace with lumber around the replaced Kanaflex...
Then I remembered a tweet by the worker at Fuku-I; no one envisioned a system (not just SARRY) to last for more than one year. SARRY came online in August last year.
From TEPCO's Photos and Video Library (8/9/2012), "Reliability Improvement of the Second Cesium Absorption Apparatus" (click to enlarge):
Many of the readers say TEPCO is so incompetent, rightfully. But what could you do when you have no money (for the plant, plenty for the top management and HQ personnel) and a dwindling number of workers with enough radiation exposure "credit" left?
There were people in the past who said they would like to come and work at the plant. Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan is one. And those retired engineers who formed an organization to press the government and TEPCO to accept them at the plant as volunteers.
Well, they could sign up with one of the subcontractors of the subcontractors of the subcontractors of TEPCO for 8,000 yen per day. Age and experience are not asked in the job interviews, I hear.