Inspection of A-bomb Dome continues as workers check for deterioration

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

On January 30, three workers moved on scaffolding that looms by the inner and outer walls of the A-bomb Dome to carefully examine the condition of the walls and steel elements of the building. Using metal poles with rounded tips, they checked for signs of deterioration and instability in the mortar-covered bricks by listening to the tapping sound the poles produced. They also used rulers to measure the size of cracks found in the walls and made notations of these cracks on a drawing of the dome.

This survey of the A-bomb Dome’s current state was begun in December 2011. On January 31, the firm handling this effort will proceed with inspections designed to check to what degree the dome is tilting and confirm the effects of waterproof materials applied to the surface of the walls. The firm has indicated that so far their examination of the dome has not revealed any significant deterioration or damage.

The A-bomb Dome was formerly known as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, a building constructed in 1915. Since the atomic bombing, it has become a symbol for appeals to abolish nuclear weapons. In 1996 it was registered as a World Heritage site. Soundness surveys on the structure have generally been conducted every three years since the preservation project undertaken in 1989. The results of each survey are reported to a panel of experts established by the City of Hiroshima, and when the need arises, repair work is carried out.

The City of Hiroshima also plans to perform a complete earthquake-resistance assessment with the use of computer analysis.

(Originally published on January 31, 2012)