NHK World, Feb 3, 2017 (emphasis added): The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is examining if it can go ahead with a plan to deploy a robot into one of the damaged reactors at the facility… An analysis of the images found that the radiation level inside the vessel was up to 530 sieverts per hour. Officials speculate that fuel debris–a mixture of nuclear fuel and melted parts of the reactor’s facility–may be emitting strong radiation inside the vessel… Last week’s probe found that part of a metal grating just beneath the reactor was missing. The robot was supposed to move around on the grating. The image analysis also found that an around one square-meter section near the missing segment is about to collapse.
NHK World transcript, Feb 3, 2017: “[Tepco] is facing more setbacks. Tepco has found unstable grating near a rector that will make it difficult to conduct further surveillance to help it decommission the plant… They found a section the size of a square meter is about to collapse. They had already found holes in other sections… A nuclear power expert suggests that will make it difficult for workers to locate the fuel.”
Asahi, Feb 3, 2017: TEPCO said it will consider a different route for the robot… Fumiya Tanabe, an expert on nuclear safety… said the findings show that both the preparation for and the actual decommissioning process at the plant will likely prove much more difficult than expected. “We have few clues on the exact locations, the sizes and the shapes of the nuclear fuel debris,” he said. “The planned investigation by the robot needs a rethink. Work to decommission the plant will require even more time.”
CNET, Feb 3, 2017: High radiation levels at Fukushima reactor is bad, bad news — Time to reconsider that trip to the east coast of Japan. A containment vessel at the destroyed Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached off-the-chart radiation levels, reported the Japan Times… Experts believe that escaped melted fuel can account for the spiked reading.
Full article: ALERT: Collapse imminent at Fukushima — TV: Officials find large section under reactor is “unstable… about to collapse” — “Bad, bad news… Time to reconsider that trip to the east coast of Japan” (VIDEOS) (ENENEWS)