The DEFCON Warning System™

Ongoing GeoIntel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.  DEFCON Level assessment issued for public notification.  Established 1984.

Inside Fukushima

Eerie new drone footage has for the first time revealed the extent of the damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant 13 years on from its meltdown. 

The plant’s operators, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, or TEPCO, released 12 photos from inside the site, which are the first ever images from inside the main structural support called the pedestal in the hardest-hit reactor’s primary containment vessel, an area directly under the reactor’s core.

Officials had long hoped to reach the area to examine the core and melted nuclear fuel which dripped there when the plant’s cooling systems were damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011. 

The high-definition color images captured by the drones show brown objects with various shapes and sizes dangling from various locations in the pedestal. 

Parts of the control-rod drive mechanism, which controls the nuclear chain reaction, and other equipment attached to the core were dislodged by the drones. 

TEPCO officials said they were unable to tell from the images whether the dangling lumps were melted fuel or melted equipment without obtaining other data such as radiation levels. 

The drones did not carry dosimeters to measure radiation because they had to be lightweight and maneuverable. 

About 880 tons of highly radioactive melted nuclear fuel remain inside the three damaged reactors. 

TEPCO is attempting to learn more about its location and condition to facilitate its removal so the plant can be decommissioned. 

The drone cameras could not see the bottom of the reactor core, in part because of the darkness of the containment vessel, officials said. 

Information from the probe could help future investigations of the melted debris which are key to developing technologies and robots for its removal, they said.

But the large amount that remains unknown about the interior of the reactors suggests how difficult it will be. Critics say the 30-40 year target for the plant’s cleanup set by the government and TEPCO is overly optimistic.

Read more at Daily Mail

Ongoing Geointel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.


© 2024 The DEFCON Warning System. Established 1984.

The DEFCON Warning System is a private intelligence organization which has monitored and assessed nuclear threats by national entities since 1984. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.