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News Worms


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

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

In a potentially major milestone in the cleanup effort of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, an underwater robot has captured what's believed to be the first images of melted nuclear fuel inside one of the plant's three damaged reactors. The robot, 30 centimetres (12 inches) long that can swim in the flooded unit, was tasked with surveying the damage inside and also finding the location of corium, which is a mixture of the atomic fuel rods and other structural materials that forms after a meltdown.

Operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) meanwhile aims to commence work to remove fuel debris at the plant in 2021, one of the most hard stages of the decommissioning project, which is expected to take at least 30 to 40 years to complete.

Removing the nuclear fuel is one of the most crucial steps in a cleanup that may consume up to four decades.

Reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced a partial nuclear meltdown due to failures of the cooling systems after an quake and tsunami in March 2011.

"Never before have we taken such clear pictures of what could be melted fuel", utility official Takahiro Kimoto told reporters, per Bloomberg.

The remotely controlled Toshiba robot, which is similar in design to a submarine, managed to gain some glimpses of "a hardened black, grey and orange substance" pooled below reactor No. 3, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

The latest investigation has confirmed TEPCO's assumption made through analyses that most of the reactor's nuclear fuel melted through the pressure vessel and accumulated at the bottom of the containment vessel. And it will confirm the procedure for the first reactor during the fiscal year ending March 2019, with fuel removal slated to begin in 2021.

TEPCO said the images were the first "highly likely" sighting of melted fuel since the 2011 disaster, when a massive undersea quake sent a huge wave barrelling into Japan's northeast coast.

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