In the Network appeared the first photos of the melted reactor, "Fukushima"

24 July, 2017, 01:53 | Author: Yolanda Murray
  • An image from an underwater robot shows the lower part of a control rod drive inside reactor No. 3 at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma Fukushima prefecture

An aquatic robot introduced to the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan has captured images of what appears to be melted fuel, with further exploration due to take place on Saturday, the plant's operator said.

The incredible stills show large amounts of the solidified lumps on the floor of the primary containment vessel underneath the core of Fukushima's No. 3 reactor for the first time.

"There is a high possibility that the solidified objects are mixtures of melted metal and fuel that fell from the vessel."

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Kimoto noted it would take time to confirm whether this debris contains melted fuel.

A report from the Associated Press detailed the results of a three-day investigation conducted on the Fukushima plant's Unit 3 reactor.

The disaster killed and missing more than 18,500 people. When the utility sent a different robot into reactor 2 in January, it found black lumps sticking to the grating in the primary containment vessel but said they were hard to identify. Part of the damaged reactors are still highly contaminated with radiation, and robots play a crucial role in cleaning them up.

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It also discovered that the nuclear fuel debris has spread throughout the containment vessel.

Because of the high radioactivity levels inside the reactor, only specially designed robots can probe the unit.

Reactor cooling systems were crippled while units one to three all suffered fuel meltdowns in the world's worst nuclear catastrophe since the 1986 Chernobyl crisis.

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The No. 3 reactor is one of the three reactors that experienced meltdowns in the nuclear disaster, which followed the March 2011 quake and tsunami. However, a follow-up survey by another Toshiba-designed robot in February failed to confirm the location of any melted fuel in the reactor after it got stuck in debris.

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