Survey set to start at Fukushima plant No. 1 reactor containment vessel

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. was scheduled to begin investigating the inside of the containment vessel of the No. 1 reactor at its stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Wednesday.

In the survey, which will continue until around August, TEPCO aims to take pictures of melted nuclear fuel debris and other deposits by underwater robots.

The information obtained in the survey will be used for studies on ways to remove the debris.

The nuclear fuel at the No. 1 reactor’s core is believed to have melted and mostly fallen inside the containment vessel during the triple meltdown accident at the plant, which was knocked out by a huge earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

In its survey of March 2017, TEPCO failed to find nuclear fuel debris at the No. 1 reactor, leaving the reactor’s detailed situation unknown, in contrast to the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors, where melted fuel debris was successfully photographed.

In the latest survey, TEPCO will use six types of underwater robots with different functions.