An underwater robot investigating the inside of reactor 3 at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant has captured what is believed to be the first images of melted nuclear fuel deposits. Obviously, this is very bad news: melted nuclear fuel is one of the most toxic substances known to man, and it’s been pouring into the North Pacific for some time at an uncontrolled rate, affecting much of marine life.
This is the first time Tepco has found something likely to be melted fuel. 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 difficult to identify. The objects spotted this time look like icicles hanging around a control rod drive attached to the bottom of the pressure vessel, which holds the core, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said at an evening news conference Friday.