Robot sent to Fukushima reactor core records fatal radiation levels (VIDEO)
The nuclear operator TEPCO released a two and a half minute video of the robotic mission that was sent in on Friday inside the melted reactor to get radiation readings. However, the robot went out of order just three hours into a planned 10-hour walk-through.
In that time frame the 60-centimeter long robot managed to collect temperature and radiation readings as well as images from six locations of the first floor below the bottom of the reactor core. The remote-controlled, single use robot revealed 7.0 to 9.7 sieverts per hour readings on site. The temperature level showed cool readings ranging from 17.8 to 20.2 degrees Celsius.
Such radiation levels are way too high for humans to reenter the area even wearing protective suits, according to TEPCO spokesman Teruaki Kobayashi.
The data sent back also revealed that the robot can handle radiation well. The levels were also significantly lower than anticipated, the spokesman announced.
The released video footage showed the robot maneuvering around debris. Kobayashi said that a second robot mission which had been scheduled for Monday had to be postponed as scientist examined the cause of the stalling on Friday. It is feared that treads of the robot were damaged as it moved.
TEPCO plans to send in more robots, including wireless ones, as it tries to acquire data necessary for the site cleanup. The latest footage showed no major obstacles around an opening leading to the underground part of the facility, so more missions are planned to take place.