Swim Robot Probes Fukushima Reactor To Find Melted Fuel

Remote controlled robots are key to the decades-long decommissioning of the plant.

(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

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.

(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

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.

More in Industry 4.0