FUKUSHIMA – A fox has been found inside the heavily contaminated reactor 2 building at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant, Tepco said.
It is the first time that an animal has been discovered in any of the reactor buildings at the power plant, including the reactors 1 and 3, which experienced core meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
On Dec. 21, the image of the fox was captured by a camera inside the unit 2 building, Tepco said on Monday, adding that the current whereabouts of the fox was unknown.
According to Tepco, the fox was found near pipes connected to treactor 2’s containment vessel. Aerial radiation levels at the site were around 300 millisieverts per hour, while radiation levels on the floor reached 7 sieverts.
The fox may have entered the reactor 2 building through an opening created by the tsunami, Tepco said.
In March 2013, cooling equipment for a spent nuclear fuel pool at the power plant stopped briefly due to a power failure caused by a rat.