This footage from inside a radioactive reactor at the Fukushima nuclear power plant shows us the first glimpse into the melted reactors at the Japanese plant after the 2011 nuclear disaster.
A robot that was specially-designed became stranded after it captured the first grainy images from inside the melted reactor number one. Video footage showed numerous white spots that are believed to be caused by gamma rays. The mission had to be abandoned after it became stuck.
Nuclear watch: Fukushima’s 2nd robot begins survey inside the damaged reactor:
The robot was developed by Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning. It was supposed to be able to function for about 10 hours at levels of radiation that would be fatal to humans and cause ordinary electronic devices to malfunction, reported the Daily Mail.
Fukushima TEPCO abandon 2 robots:
TEPCO spokesman Teruaki Kobayashi said the robot collected sufficient temperature, radiation levels, and images from parts of the platform just below the reactor core’s bottom by the time it got stuck and became unrecoverable, adding that the images were a success, and showed it was possible to send in more sophisticated robots.
Inside Fukushima’s nuclear reactor:
TEPCO is planning to send in an amphibious robot next year to continue their investigation of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns. Using the robots to look into the leaking reactor core helps to ascertain the level of radiation, temperature, and structural damage to the facility. With this information, it gives us some idea of when the area will become safe for the necessary disposal work.
The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission found the nuclear disaster was “man-made,” and that its direct causes were all foreseeable. It stated that it had also failed to meet the most basic safety requirements, such as assessing the probability of damage, preparing for containing collateral damage from such a disaster, and developing evacuation plans, wrote the Daily Mail.
Nuclear waste: Drone buzzes Fukushima temporary storage facility:
The decommissioning and dismantling of all six reactors will be a delicate and a time-consuming process. It also will include the removal of the melted fuel rods from a radioactive environment and all the extra fuel rods, which still sit in cooling pools at the top of the reactor buildings. The process is expected to take at least 40 years, with workers having to wear protective suits while dismantling the plant and determining the condition of the melted fuel debris.
The Fukushima disaster ranks as one of the worst nuclear incidents of the past 20 years. The effects of the reactor leakage and meltdown will continue to wreak havoc on the area for years to come, though hopes are that it will not become worse, said ScienceDump.
More than 300,000 people had to be evacuated after three of Fukushima’s six reactors blew up following the huge tsunami that devastated the country over three years ago. Nearly 16,000 people lost their lives in the natural disaster and subsequent devastation, said the Daily Mail.
If this is something that will go on for decades to come—are nuclear plants really the answer?
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