Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review

Tokyo Electric Power Co. offered the world its first look inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant this week, while the Japanese government proposed time limits for nuclear plant licenses and turned its attention to another investigation into the accident.

Recent developments at the tsunami-stricken nuclear plant include:

Camera offers first images from inside unit 2 PCV

TEPCO operators threaded an endoscope into the primary containment vessel of unit 2 (video below), providing them the first glimpse of the damage inside the reactor. Data and images (summarized by TEPCO in this .pdf) from the probe confirmed concurrent sub-boiling temperature readings from plant instruments. But they also indicated water levels inside the PCV are lower than initial estimates. No fuel was visible from the areas the endoscope was able to reach, and much of the footage was distorted by the high level of radiation absorbed by the camera. Rust is evident on some surfaces of the PCV, which was cooled using salt water immediately after the accident.