FUKUSHIMA – A remote-controlled robot inserted to survey the inside of the No. 1 reactor at the damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has stopped functioning, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.
As a first step in the utility’s effort to remove melted nuclear fuel from the bottom of the unit’s primary containment vessel, the shape-shifting robot was sent in Friday morning to find the exact location of the highly radioactive debris.
Set to cover some 20 meters of the first floor on the first day, the robot began its trip at around 11:20 a.m. but halted at around 2:10 p.m. after completing two-thirds of the route, Tepco said.
The utility said footage from the robot’s camera shows it passed an opening leading to the vessel’s basement, where the molten fuel is believed to have ended up after the core meltdowns occurred after the March 2011 quake and tsunami.