Swim robot probes Fukushima reactor to find melted fuel
In this Thursday, June 15, 2017, file photo, a newly developed robot for underwater investigation of Fukushima's damaged reactor moves in the water at a test facility in Yokosuka near Tokyo. The robot, which is nicknamed "little sunfish," co-developed by the debt-strapped Japanese nuclear and electronics company Toshiba Corp., and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, is ready for deployment this summer at the badly-damaged Unit 3 primary containment vessel to assess its damage and locate parts of melted fuel, believed to be submerged under highly contaminated water. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama, File)

Swim robot probes Fukushima reactor to find melted fuel

    July 19, 2017 - 7 months 6 days ago

TOKYO (AP) — An underwater robot has captured images and other data inside Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on its first day of work.

The robot is on a mission to study damage and find fuel that experts say has melted and mostly fallen to the bottom of a chamber and has been submerged by highly radioactive water.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that the robot, nicknamed "the Little Sunfish," entered the primary containment vessel of the Unit 3 reactor at Fukushima, which was destroyed by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Remote controlled robots are key to the decades-long decommissioning of the plant, but super-high radiation and structural damage have hampered earlier probes at two other Fukushima reactors.


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