‘Major blow’ at Fukushima as robot loses control inside reactor — Moved 10 meters before failing — Max radiation readings more than doubled since 2012 — ‘Eerie footage’ shows orange glow in area with highest levels (VIDEO)

Published: April 14th, 2015 at 9:12 am ET
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Asahi Shimbun, Apr 11, 2015 (emphasis added): [A] robot sent to probe a highly radioactive containment vessel of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant got stuck hours after it was deployed, dealing a major blow to decommissioning work… TEPCO has yet to determine why the device became immovable… the operators tugged on the robot’s cable and sent instructions for it to change shape, but it still would not move… The robot is essential to carrying out preliminary studies…

Reuters, Apr 14, 2015: Eerie footage from inside destroyed Fukushima reactor… [the robot has] lost control and become unconnected… Monday (April 13), Tepco decided to cut the wire to the robot and leave it in inside… Tepco has one more of the same type of robot…

AP, Apr 13, 2015: A 2 ½ minute edited compilation… showed steam wafting from inside the dark container [and] debris that looked like small rocks and metal parts. The images contained numerous white dots believed to be caused by gamma rays. [TEPCO said] the levels were significantly lower than anticipated… Without more data, it will be difficult to figure out exactly how to safely locate and remove the radioactive debris. Nuclear officials are expected to revise the plant’s decades-long decommissioning roadmap in the coming weeks, with more leeway and options in case earlier plans prove unfeasible.

NHK transcript, Apr 13, 2015: “At one point the reading shoots above 20 sieverts [actually 24.9 sieverts/hr].”

Kyodo News, Apr 7, 2015: In October 2012, radiation levels inside the containment vessel… measured up to 11 sieverts per hour.

NHK, Apr 12, 2015: TEPCO abandons robot in reactor… it stalled after moving about 10 meters… the robot has remained immobile and is not showing any sign of improvement. That’s forced the company to give up recovering the device.

NHK, Apr 13, 2015: The 2-minute 40-second-long clip shows mainly steam. It is thought that water at the bottom of the containment vessel is being evaporated by the heat of the melted nuclear fuel… [TEPCO] cut the remote control cable for the robot after giving up on its recovery on Sunday, and postponed a second survey with another robot.

Watch the footage inside Unit 1′s containment vessel here

Published: April 14th, 2015 at 9:12 am ET
By

178 comments

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