Possible fuel debris found at Fukushima reactor

Tokyo Electric Power Company says an operation carried out with a remote-controlled robot has found what may be fuel debris at one of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

TEPCO officials and other people who took part said Friday that the discovery was made near a device that operates the fuel control rods beneath the pressure vessel of the Number 3 reactor.

Fuel debris is a mixture of molten nuclear fuel and reactor structures.

The remote-controlled robot used by TEPCO can move underwater, a feature necessitated by the water injected into the reactor's containment vessel for cooling.

The robot moved past a concrete structure known as a pedestal, which supports the pressure vessel, and took a video of areas near the bottom of the vessel.

The footage shows several black objects that are shaped like icicles.

TEPCO says it is unable to say yet if the objects are fuel debris, and it will take a closer look at the footage.