New tests show almost all of the fuel inside one of the Fukushima nuclear plant’s reactors has melted, its operator said Thursday, the latest step in the clean-up after Japan’s worst ever nuclear crisis.
Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said the technology, which uses elementary particles called “muon” to create x-ray style images, gave the most concrete evidence yet the fuel had dropped to the bottom of No. 1 reactor.
The data, though largely expected…
Engineers have not been able to develop a machine to directly see the exact location of the molten fuel, hampered by extremely high levels of radiation in and around the reactors.
“While our previous analysis have already strongly suggested that fuel rods had melted down, the latest study provided further data that we like to regard as progress in our effort to determine the exact locations of the debris,” said a TEPCO spokesman.
TEPCO plans to eventually use robots to locate the fuel debris as part of the decommissioning process, which is expected to take three to four decades to complete.