Radioactive Fukushima Debris Picked Up By Remote-Controlled Robot For First Time

by | Feb 15, 2019 | Headline News | 25 comments

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    This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

    A remote-controlled robot sent into the bowels of a melted nuclear reactor at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant has made picked up pebble-sized chunks of radioactive debris for the first time, according to AFP.

    On Wednesday, operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) sent a remote-controlled probe to the bottom of the plant’s No. 2 reactor and lifted five small pieces of radioactive debris two inches.

    “We were able to confirm that the fuel debris can be moved,” said spokeswoman Yuka Matsubara, adding “We accomplished the objective of this test.”

    Matsubara says tht TEPCO plans to move more debris by next March.

    Robots have already peered inside the reactor to allow experts to assess the melted fuel visually, but Wednesday’s test was the first attempt to work out how fragile the highly radioactive material is.

    Removing the melted fuel is considered the most difficult part of the massive clean-up operation in the wake of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

    It is not expected to begin until 2021, and TEPCO has other issues to resolve including how to dispose of large quantities of contaminated water stored in containers at the plant site. –AFP

    The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami swept across mainland Japan and killed over 15,000 people – knocking out the emergency generators at the Fukushima site. With no power, plant operators were unable to cool the – resulting in the meltdown of units 1, 2, and 3, along with hydrogen air explosions and the release of radioactive material into the air and the Pacific Ocean.

    According to Gizmodo, the most difficult part of cleaning up the site will be dealing with the intense radiation coming from the melted fuel. In February 2017, a remote-controlled robot became unresponsive after two hours of exposure inside of reactor No. 2. Radiation has been reported as high as 650 sieverts per hour – enough to kill a human within seconds.

    Illustration showing how radioactive debris from the reactor pressure vessel are collecting at the bottom of the primary containment vessel. Image: Tepco via Gizmodo

    Last year, a remote controlled probe with a camera was sent back into the No. 2 reactor, which confirmed that fuel debris had in fact melted through a containment area known as the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) a.k.a. the reactor core, and made its way down to the primary containment vessel (PCV). 

    Images of the chamber showed pebble- and clay-like deposits covering the entire bottom of the PCV pedestal. This accumulated waste, along with similar piles at reactors No. 1 and 3, needs to be cleaned up, and Tepco is currently trying to determine the best way of doing so.

    To that end, the state-owned company devised an operation to see what that material is like and determine if it can be moved. On Wednesday February 13, Tepco sent a probe equipped with a remotely operated robotic hand down into the No. 2 lower chamber, Japan Times reports. Using its tong-like fingers, the probe picked up five grain-sized pieces of radioactive melted fuel. AFP reported that the pieces were moved to a maximum height of 2 inches (5 centimeters) above the bottom of the chamber. In addition to taking images with a camera, the probe measured radiation and temperature during the investigation, according to a Tepco release.


    The Japan Times reports that TEPCO plans to move forward with another test in April to remove some debris from the chamber, and hopes to start removing radioactive material from the chamber in earnest by 2021.


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      1. Every robot to date has failed in a short time due to the intense radiation. This one won’t last.

        • ht tps://
          Here is some history of the robot failures thus far. The highest measured radiation is 650 SIEVERTS per hour and every single day 165 TONS of groundwater is contaminated. Sort of a big deal.

          If clusterfrack was in the dictionary, then Fukusima and Japanese engineering would be synonyms.

          • Ae you aware that the Fukushima reactor was made by GE???

          • What supreme irony that the nation who most suffered by Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and who yearly reminds the world of that senseless tragedy, then pollutes the ENTIRE WORLD with radioactive isotopes to this day, amd every day, as it is not been properly addressed.

            • Maranatha – don’t be such a sanctimonious hypocrite. America, long ago, created its very own nuclear cess pit then walked away from any further responsibility.

              Or is this report below “fake news” that the serial draft dodger wishes to suppress?


              • You made a claim that I am a sanctimonious hypocrite. Prove that claim or retract it. Otherwise that is LIBEL. The burden of proof is on you.

                • I think the burden of proof is on you to prove that you’re not, a sanctimonious hypocrite, that is:


                  and especially for sanctimonious and hyper sensitive old farts:


                  Looking at your previous posts it’s a moot point. On the whole, you do come across as tediously sanctimonious with your hijacking of subjects, and seemingly never ending sanctimonious and condescending screeds.

                  Go away and lick your wounds. You’ve lost the debate by threatening me with libel…sanctimonious old fool.

                  Anyway, you never answered my original critique before going off into a girly hissy fit. Try acting your age and not your shoe size.

                  • You know NOTHING about debate. It’s pathetic. Once you open your mouth, it’s obvious. When you make a claim, then the one making the claim has the burden of proof.

                    Look it up, dolt.

                    • ht tps://
                      ht tps://

                  • You have zero potential to prove your claim, thus you are not only a fool, but a libelous fool since you made it written.

                    • OK, Mary Ann…so go ahead and sue me…don’t make stupid threats you can’t carry out…a sure sign of your true religious sanctimonious hypocrisy. Something about forgiveness and turning the other cheek?

                      Go back to playing with little boys. That’s what your ilk like, isn’t it?

                      Not only are you sanctimonious, you’re proving to be extremely childllike. Grow up and act like a man.

                      You still haven’t responded to my original posting in an adult manner?

                    • Why would I bother replying to a cowardly cur who doesn’t use logic and evidence but hides behind mockery and ridicule? You are an annoying leftist atheist gnat.

      2. (Although radioactivity was harmless, according to Galen Windsor.)

        Several robots were sent to Fukushima, and all supposedly broke down, in a manner of minutes.

        This suicide-happy culture also sent indigents into the radioactivity and discussed means of feeding the pollution to all prefectures, equally.

        • Yeesh, not a BOL.

          • There are some rural people, who have Chernobyl, all to themselves.

            And, parts of Detroit have also returned to the wild.

            Go out, on a full stomach and with plenty of drinking water. “Extinct” species are forever on the verges of civilization, imo. To picnic is an exploration.

      3. In Lucifer (aka Lucis) Trust publications, all fissile materials would be consolidated under the globalists and used to intimidate non-participating countries.

        For some reason, all the different plants, everywhere, no matter when they were built, were noticed to be breaking down, at roughly the same time.

        Noone, at that point in development, had any idea what to do with the enriched, or close-to-enriched, materials — apparently, some of the most valuable substance on Earth.

        Is this designed for obsolescence.

      4. Too cheap to meter

      5. I fully agree that we should look closer at thorium. To date we have no solution on spent fuel so we are using continuous pool operations and have no repository. And if we did dry cask it, there is zero doubt that some crazy Jihadists would try to detonate charges and then we would have a MASSIVE dead zone.

        There isn’t a good solution except jettisoning it in space and that would be immensely expensive.

      6. Those reactor cores left containment long ago, along with the tens of thousands of spent fuel rods stored there. China syndrome is an understatement.

      7. Can we send all our leftists to Fukushima?

      8. What I can never understand is if NASA could develop protective suits for astronauts passing through the Van Allen radiation belt, why can’t they develop protective clothing for nuclear waste clean up crews?

        Oh yeah, NASA probably doesn’t have that technology . . .

      9. Once found, what are the Japanese doing with radioactive material? How are they disposing it?


        • Well, the idiots had all sorts of radioactive contaminants on various material, so they burned it, which fell as ashes. I’m serious. Out of sight, out of mind. There was radioactive material dispursed over a wide area.

          ht tp://

          • Some felt dutiful about sharing the shame.

      10. Since these are such small particles why not use a vacuum type cleaner for the job. Get in fast – vacuum fast – get out fast.

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