Endoscope Captures First Glimpse Inside Crippled Japanese Reactor

endoscopeThis photo, taken by a remote-controlled endoscope and released by Tokyo Electric Power Co., shows structures assumed to be small size piping or cable conduit inside the beaker-shaped containment vessel of No. 2 reactor at the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

The images are the first look we've gotten inside Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor that was crippled by a tsunami last year.

The plant's owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company, took its first look using an endoscope or a remote-control camera. Some of the clearer images show metal surfaces that have become rusty because of the months of heat and humidity they've endured. The inner wall of the container has also been heavily damaged.

Tepco officials learned that the amount of water inside the reactor seemed to be less than what had been estimated.

The amount of water in the reactors is a big deal, because that is what's cooling the reactors and will eventually get them to a stable level.

The AP explains that the static you see is actually electronic interference caused by the radiation. The other reactors, if you're wondering, are still too radioactive to allow for this kind of exploration.

Learn more from NPR.

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