A probe touched melted nuclear fuel debris in a destroyed reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, a long-awaited milestone in the battle toward decommissioning, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Feb. 13. The rod-like probe, fitted with 3-centimeter-long claws, lifted pieces of the nuclear fuel debris during the eight-hour operation at the bottom of the No. 2 reactor at the plant, the utility said. Data obtained through the investigation, such as the hardness, temperature and radioactivity of the debris, will be used to develop equipment and containers for the eventual removal of the melted fuel. The probe, which was recovered after the investigation, also took pictures of the inside of the containment vessel. No debris was taken outside the reactor, according to TEPCO. The retrieval process will start in earnest at one of the reactors in 2021, according to the plan drawn up jointly by the central government and TEPCO.
Asahi Shimbun 14th Jan 2019 read more »
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