YOKOHAMA - Toshiba Corp. unveiled a remote-controlled robot with tongs on Monday that it hopes will be able to probe the inside of one of the three damaged reactors at Japan's tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant and grip chunks of highly radioactive melted fuel. The device is designed to slide down an extendable 11-meter (36-foot) long pipe and touch melted fuel inside reactor 2's primary containment vessel. The reactor was built by Toshiba and GE. An earlier probe carrying a camera captured images of pieces of melted fuel in the reactor last year, and robotic probes in the two other reactors have detected traces of damaged fuel, but the exact location, contents and other details remain largely unknown. Toshiba's energy systems unit said experiments with the new probe planned in February are key to determining the proper equipment and technologies needed to remove the fuel debris, the most challenging part of the decommissioning process expected to take decades.
An underwater robot captured images of solidified lava-like rocks Thursday inside a damaged reactor at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, spotting for the first time what is believed to be nuclear fuel that melted six years ago. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the robot found large amounts of lava-like debris apparently containing fuel that had flowed out of the core into the primary containment vessel of the Unit 3 reactor at Fukushima. The plant was destroyed by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. This image captured by an underwater robot shows lava-like lumps believed to contain melted fuel inside the Unit 3 reactor at Fukushima. Experts believe the fuel melted and much of it fell to the chamber's bottom and is now submerged by radioactive water.
A Japanese robot has begun probing the radioactive water at Fukushima's nuclear reactor. The marine robot, nicknamed the'little sunfish', is on a mission to study structural damage and find fuel inside the three reactors of the devastated plant. Experts said remote-controlled bots are key to finding fuel at the dangerous site, which has likely melted and been submerged by highly radioactive water. A Japanese robot has begun probing the radioactive water at Fukushima's nuclear reactor. An underwater robot has captured images and other data inside Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on its first day of work.