TEPCO to send video robot into crippled reactor

TEPCO to send video robot into crippled reactor

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is exercising extreme caution in its efforts to determine the conditions inside the containment vessel at a crippled reactor.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will shoot another video inside the vessel before sending in a key survey robot.

TEPCO will use another robot to take the video. During filming in the Number 2 reactor's containment vessel last month, the operator used a remote-controlled camera that workers inserted into the structure.

The video robot, 10 centimeters wide and 30 centimeters long, is equipped with 3 cameras.

Footage captured last time shows a dark material on a partially broken metal grating right beneath the reactor core.

TEPCO officials will send the video robot into the vessel on Tuesday and film from fresh angles. The operator is motivated by concern that a survey robot can only cover limited space because it is supposed to move on the damaged grating.

The survey robot will measure radiation levels and temperatures to determine whether the dark material inside is fuel debris -- a mixture of fuel and melted parts of the structure. The data are essential for decommissioning work.