Robot probes radioactive fuel at Japan's Fukushima plant

February 13, 2019
Removing the melted fuel is considered the most difficult part of the massive clean-up operation and is not expected to begin until 2021

A robot will attempt to examine radioactive fuel at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant on Wednesday in a complex operation seen as key to clean-up efforts after the 2011 meltdown.

The operation is intended to better assess the status of the melted , including whether it is stable enough to be picked up for removal, or may crumble upon contact.

"The operation began at 7:00am local time and will last around five hours. So far no problems have been reported," a spokeswoman for the plant's operator TEPCO told AFP.

The operation is being carried out at the plant's reactor 2, one of three that melted down after a and tsunami in March 2011.

Robots have already peered inside the reactor to allow experts to assess the melted fuel visually, but Wednesday's test will be the first attempt to work out how fragile the highly radioactive material is.

Removing the melted fuel is considered the most difficult part of the massive clean-up operation in the wake of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

It is not expected to begin until 2021, and TEPCO has other issues to resolve including how to dispose of large quantities of contaminated water stored in containers at the plant site.

The 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima plant was the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl

The March 2011 tsunami that caused the meltdown was triggered by a massive undersea quake and killed around 18,000 people.

Tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes because of the threat of radiation.

Authorities have been working to rebuild the region, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) north of Tokyo, although areas near the crippled plant remain uninhabitable because of radiation dangers.

Explore further: Fuel removal device installed at meltdown-hit Fukushima reactor

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3 / 5 (4) Feb 13, 2019
"Tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes because of the threat of radiation."
Fukushima radiation was less than a bunch bananas.
Meanwhile Volcanoes in Japan, in a single eruption can release as much radioactive material as all nuclear weapons, as well polonium-210 worse than cesium-137 and protactinium-231 equivalent to plutonium-239 in terms of toxicity, and it is not mentioned by the mainstream mass media(in the pocket of the fossil fuels vested interests).
1 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2019
^^^^^^^ Tosser.
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2019
It's been eight years and still no cleanup.

This piece is a whitewash. They're trying to assess how much fuel melted through the floor and into a "china syndrome."

500 nuclear power plants worldwide and one melts down about every decade, leaving a near permanent "exclusion zone" stretching for miles. Yet we have no machines waiting to clean them up?
5 / 5 (1) Feb 14, 2019
Yet another example of the stupidity of allowing bean counters to make engineering decisions. They **knew** that placement of the backup generators was problematic, but to locate them higher up would have cost tens of thousands of dollars more. For less than the cost of an executive's Hawaii golf vacation these idiots endangered an entire industry. MBAs are the worst people you could possibly choose to run things.
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2019
..."exclusion zone"...
"The difference between nuclear & solar exclusion zones is that life thrives in the former while *all life must die* in the latter."
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2019
Da Schneib
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2019
It's been eight years and still no cleanup.
Bullshit. https://en.wikipe..._cleanup

They figure it will take until 2040.

Like most trolls you lie. It's a hell of a mess. Maybe you didn't figure out how much of a mess before you decided these things could save the world.

Stop lying @Jax, you get caught every time. Don't be another stupid troll.

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