The operator of the disaster-struck Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant said Thursday it will attempt to examine the inside of reactor 1 next Tuesday using a remote-controlled robot. The move follows a botched attempt by another self-propelled robot to take a look inside reactor 2, which had also sustained a meltdown after the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. That robot became unable to move when it encountered debris and eventually could not be retrieved. These are the first attempts by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. to examine the insides of the wrecked reactors since the nuclear disaster started. For the reactor 1 inspection, Tepco said the new robot will carry out a four-day probe inside the containment vessel.
The operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant said Wednesday it has completed its first attempt to use a remote-controlled probe to manipulate melted fuel accumulating at the bottom of one of the crippled reactors. During the nearly eight-hour operation, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. inserted the probe that is equipped with a camera, radiation meter and tong-like grips into the primary containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor. Of the six locations that were surveyed, the probe, which is 30 centimeters tall and 10 cm wide, successfully lifted several centimeters of deposits at five locations, a TEPCO official said at a news conference. But in the remaining area that resembled clay, the probe could not pick up any of the deposited material, indicating it was relatively solid. The findings from the operation will provide important information to help in the decommissioning of the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors at the plant that suffered core meltdowns in the nuclear crisis that began in March 2011, according to Tepco.
The radiation level in the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor at the defunct Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, operator Tokyo Electric said Thursday. Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. also announced that, based on image analysis, it has discovered a 2-meter hole in the metal grating beneath the pressure vessel inside the No. 2 unit's containment vessel, and detected that a portion of it is warped. According to Tepco, the blazing radiation reading was taken near the entrance area in the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core. The previously high was 73 sieverts per hour. The hole could have been caused by melted fuel penetrating the vessel after a mega-quake and massive tsunami triggered a station blackout that crippled the plant's ability to keep the reactors cool on March 11, 2011.
The radiation level in the containment vessel of reactor 2 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. said. Tepco said on Thursday that the blazing radiation reading was taken near the entrance to the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core. The high figure indicates that some of the melted fuel that escaped the pressure vessel is nearby. At 530 sieverts, a person could die from even brief exposure, highlighting the difficulties ahead as the government and Tepco grope their way toward dismantling all three reactors crippled by the March 2011 disaster. Tepco also announced that, based on its analysis of images taken by a remote-controlled camera, that there is a 2-meter hole in the metal grating under the pressure vessel in the reactor's primary containment vessel.