Submersible Robot Enters Fukushima Reactor in Search of Fuel Debris

Credit: TEPCO

On July 19, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) sent a new type of submersible robot into the containment vessel of the third reactor at the Fukushima nuclear plant to search for fuel debris.

This footage, captured by the robot’s camera, shows the interior of the reactor.

The search lasted for three hours, according to the Japan Times, and the fuel debris was not located. Nevertheless, a TEPCO spokesman said the launch allowed investigators the opportunity to see whether it was possible to move the robot deeper into the vessel, and also revealed an odd discrepancy – the vessel’s steel gratings, designed to work as scaffolding, were not in their correct location.

TEPCO has sent similar robots into the containment vessels of the first and second reactors of Fukushima’s nuculear plant to search for fuel debris with no success so far. Investigators with the company believe that the debris, critical for determining ways to develop a proper decontamination method for the plant, is located within the third reactor.

All three reactors suffered a meltdown during the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami.

To download this video for news use, go to: To obtain a Storyful subscription, contact

See and search Storyful Licensed Videos here: