Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the operator of destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant, late Friday published fresh images from inside a damaged reactor, the AFP news agency reported Saturday.
Images captured by a special camera installed on a robotic probe, showed broken metal parts, debris and rubble, including fragments that may contain melted nuclear fuel.
The operation, carried out in one of the facility's three destroyed reactors, is a part of the company's efforts to dismantle the tsunami-hit plant, while locating fuel debris is a key priority of the process.
Due to high radiation levels, TEPCO has been struggling to inspect the reactors since 2011, but succeeded last year, publishing similar images of the No. 3 reactor.
"The success in taking the latest pictures was another milestone for our decommissioning process," the company's spokesman told AFP, adding that TEPCO planned to begin removing the debris in 2021.
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The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred in March 2011, when the plant was hit by a 46-foot tsunami triggered by a 9.0-magnitude offshore earthquake, crippling the facility’s cooling system and resulting in the leakage of radioactive materials, hydrogen-air explosions and eventually the plant’s shutdown. The accident is regarded as the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.