In the latest hitch in efforts to decommission reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, a robotic surveyor became mired in deposits and was lost on its maiden journey on Feb. 16.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, had to abandon the Sasori (scorpion) robot after it became stuck inside the containment vessel of the power station’s No. 2 reactor that morning.
The highly touted probe was specially developed for the important task of surveying the interior of the crippled reactor and collecting data to assist in removing the melted fuel.
But with the environment inside too treacherous for a key component in the process, TEPCO’s decommissioning project seems to have come to a standstill.
According to the utility, the robot entered the containment vessel around 8 a.m. It traveled along a 7.2-meter-long rail connecting the outer wall of the containment vessel with its central portion immediately …