TEPCO to conduct robotic probe of No.1 reactor
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it will send a remote-controlled probe into the crippled No.1 reactor next week.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said on Thursday a robot equipped with a camera and dosimeter will be inserted into the containment vessel of the reactor, beginning on Tuesday.
The 4-day probe is part of the utility’s effort to remove melted nuclear fuel from the 3 reactors at the plant that experienced meltdowns following the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11th, 2011.
TEPCO believes the fuel penetrated the No. 1 reactor’s pressure vessel and has remained at the bottom of the containment vessel as fuel debris.
The robot is 70 centimeters long and about 10 centimeters wide. It will enter the containment vessel through a pipe.
The plan is to lower the camera and dosimeters attached to cables at 5 locations into contaminated water at the bottom, which is about 2 meters deep.
TEPCO officials say that even if the water is too murky to capture images, data from the dosimeter will help them assess the condition and extent of the debris.
They say it will be a delicate operation, citing the possibility that the robot may get stuck in piping or on other structures and become irretrievable.
The latest probe follows a robotic survey into the No.2 reactor earlier this year.
TEPCO to examine inside of Fukushima No. 1 reactor Tues. with robot
The operator of the disaster-struck Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Thursday it will attempt to examine the inside of the No. 1 reactor next Tuesday using a remote-controlled robot.
The move follows a botched attempt by another self-propelled robot to take a look inside the No. 2 reactor, which also melted down. 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 Company Holdings Inc. to examine the insides of the wrecked reactors since the nuclear disaster triggered by a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011.