(Tokyo) New images filmed by a robot inside a devastated reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have revealed extensive damage to its foundations and a large amount of radioactive debris.
Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the operator of the plant being dismantled, published on Tuesday extracts from these images taken inside reactor No. 1, one of the three whose cores had gone into meltdown in 2011 after an earthquake followed by a gigantic tsunami.
“There are areas that we couldn’t see” inside this reactor, but the damage is probably “extensive in many places,” a Tepco official told a press briefing. .
The video notably showed chipped concrete walls showing off their steel reinforcement and debris piled half a meter high.
These images illustrate once again the colossal task of decontaminating and dismantling Fukushima Daiichi, which must still take decades.
In reactors 1 to 3, fuel and other materials melted during the disaster and then solidified into highly radioactive debris.
The extraction of this waste can thus only be carried out by remotely controlled robots. But the start of this extremely complex operation has been delayed, due to the pandemic and technical difficulties.
“Because of the high radiation levels inside the reactors, I understand that robots using semiconductors don’t work as well” as expected, Fukushima Prefecture Governor Masao told a news conference on Monday. Uchibori.
The governor has asked Tepco to carry out new anti-seismic resistance tests of the plant, while its constituents are worried about a worsening of the situation on the site if a new large-scale natural disaster occurs.