According to the Associated Press (AP), a remote-controlled robot was made to travel to the bottom of Fukushima’s most damaged reactor last Thursday. It captured the images of heaps of melted fuel there, that sank as a result of the tsunami in 2011. A massive earthquake and tsunami hit the place in 2011, which damaged the cooling systems at the power plant, causing the meltdown of three reactor cores.
Fukushima’s cooling systems were damaged badly, the plant melted down and most of the radioactive fuel fell to the bottom of its containment chambers. This indicates that the removal of the substances seems quite difficult. Even an effort was made in 2017 when an underwater robot failed to capture photographs of fuel because of the intensely damaged reactors having massive amounts of radiation inside.
AP further reported that about 900 tons of melted nuclear fuel are inside the plant’s three reactors and that the officials anticipate that it will take about 30 to 40 years to remove it. Pouring the radioactive water into the ocean is an already existing plan and all that clean up of the reactors is on top of that because Japan says that there is nowhere else for it to go.
The results obtained through these explorations at Fukushima can be useful in the US too, as much of the nuclear infrastructure is crumbling, so any new projects like the one in Oak Ridge need to be carefully supervised.
Source: Associated Press.