TOKYO (TR) – The first inside look taken by a newly inserted endoscope into one of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors showed mixed results on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
Engineers for Tokyo Electric Power Company inserted the endoscope by drilling a hole into the plants No. 2 reactor containment vessel. Images blurred by radiation showed heavy deterioration along the container’s wall and rusty surfaces due to 10 months of exposure to high heat and humidity, but no major damage or ruptures, the AP said. What they did not find though was melted fuel or cooling water at the levels they were expecting, indicating the reactor’s water monitors are not relaying accurate data, according to the news agency.
“Given the harsh environment that we had to operate, we did quite well. It’s a first step. But we could not spot any signs of fuel, unfortunately,” the AP cited TEPCO spokesman Junichi Matsumoto as saying.
Matsumoto said most of the melted fuel had probably fallen in an area at the bottom of the reactor not accessible by the endoscope, the AP reported. It is going to take more time and better technology to reach the fuel, he said.