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.
Nearly a thousand storage tanks are scattered across the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, holding a staggering 1.1 million tons of treated water used to keep its melted reactor cores cool while they rust in the sun. Plant manager Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., or Tepco, plans to build more of the gigantic tanks to hold another 0.27 million tons, which is roughly the equivalent of 108 Olympic-size swimming pools. The new tanks are expected reach full capacity in four or five years. Each tank takes seven to 10 days to fill and holds between 1,000 to 1,200 tons of liquid, Tepco officials told reporters during a tour in February organized by the Japan National Press Club. It's been eight years since Fukushima No. 1 suffered three core meltdowns triggered by tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake, but the situation with the tanks may be a sign Tepco has yet to get the facility under control.
A remote-controlled cleaning robot sent into a damaged reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant had to be removed before it completed its work because of camera problems most likely caused by high radiation levels. It was the first time a robot has entered the chamber inside the Unit 2 reactor since a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami critically damaged the Fukushima Da-ichi nuclear plant. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it was trying to inspect and clean a passage before another robot does a fuller examination to assess damage to the structure and its fuel. In this image released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), a remote-controlled'cleaning' robot, bottom, enters the reactor containment chamber of Unit 2 for inspection and cleaning. The'cleaning' robot that entered one of three tsunami-wrecked Fukushima reactor containment chambers was withdrawn before completing its mission due to glitches most likely caused by high radiation The robot went only part way into a space under the core that TEPCO wants to inspect closely.
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.