In the Network appeared the first photos of the melted reactor, "Fukushima"

Robot finds possible melted fuel in Fukushima reactor

Images captured by an underwater robot on Saturday showed massive deposits believed to be melted nuclear fuel covering the floor of a damaged reactor at Japan's destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant.

And the unprecedented nature of the Fukushima disaster means that Tepco, as the utility is known, is pinning its efforts on technology not yet invented to get the melted fuel out of the reactors.

The plant was destroyed by a massive quake and tsunami in March 2011.

The three-day investigation of Unit 3 ended on Saturday.

Lake Barrett, a former official at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission who was involved in the cleanup at the Three Mile Island nuclear electricity plant in America, stressed o the importance of knowing the exact locations of the melted fuel to develop a defueling plan.

Reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced a partial nuclear meltdown due to failures of the cooling systems after an natural disaster and tsunami in March 2011.

With the third round, TEPCO finished the aquatic robot probe. When the utility sent a different robot into reactor 2 in January, it found black lumps sticking to the grating in the primary containment vessel but said they were hard to identify.

About 6.4 metres of water - injected into the reactor to cool fuel debris - has accumulated at the bottom of the containment vessel, according to the operator. The search for melted fuel in the two other reactors has so far been unsuccessful because of damage and extremely high radiation levels.

A robot designed by Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd. also failed to find any melted fuel during its probe of the No. 1 reactor in March.

Reactor cooling systems were crippled while units one to three all suffered fuel meltdowns in the world's worst nuclear catastrophe since the 1986 Chernobyl crisis.

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