Engineers in Japan reached an important milestone today, as they began removing fuel rods from one of three reactors that experienced meltdowns in 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
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Tepco, the state-owned operator of the badly damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, has conducted an important test in which a remote-controlled probe managed to grasp several small grains of radioactive debris, AFP reports. The successful operation marked an important achievement for the company as it prepares for a cleanup operation that could take decades.
A Japanese nuclear power station in Hokkaido is operating on emergency power after the region was hit by a 6.7-magnitude quake in the early hours of Thursday morning, Reuters reported. However, though the event carries unsettling overtones of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, authorities say there is currently no danger of any similar radioactive release occurring.
Earlier this year, remotely piloted robots transmitted what officials believe was a direct view of melted radioactive fuel inside Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant's destroyed reactors - a major discovery, but one that took a long and painful six years to achieve. In the meantime, the program to clean up the destroyed reactors has seen numerous setbacks and concerns, including delays on Japanese electrical utility Tepco's timetable to begin removing the highly radioactive fuel and continued leakage of small amounts of radioactive substances.
A new and unexpected source of radioactive material left over from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has been found up to 97km away along coastlines near the beleaguered plant. The discovery shows that damaged nuclear reactors are capable of spreading radiation far from the meltdown site, and in some surprising ways.
One of the several brave robots to make one-way trips into Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant's severely damaged reactors has accomplished what its less fortunate compatriots did not, sending back photos of what appears to be melted nuclear fuel from the interior of the ruined facility.
A remotely-controlled robot sent to inspect and clean a damaged reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant had to be pulled early when its onboard camera went dark, the result of excess radiation. The abbreviated mission suggests that radiation levels inside the reactor are even higher than was reported last week -- and that robots are going to have a hell of a time cleaning this mess up.
Image Cache: Since March 2011, a 50km radius around the ruined Fukushima Daiichi reactor has been a designated exclusion zone, unsafe to travel. Over 100,000 evacuees left in a hurry and left behind a snapshot of what life looked like in the moments just before they fled. A brave soul recently snuck in to photograph the apocalyptic scene today.
Five years ago, a 9.0 undersea earthquake shook Japan. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the country, and it was followed by devastating tsunami waves, killing 15,894 people. The tsunami caused level 7 meltdowns at three reactors in the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, resulting in the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl explosion.
After two years without any nuclear power in response to the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis, Japan has restarted its first reactor, Sendai 1.