The operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant said it has abandoned a robotic probe inside one of the damaged reactors
A report stated that a fallen object has left the robot stranded
The robot collected data on radiation levels and investigated the spread of debris
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has given up trying to recover a robotic probe after it stopped moving inside one of the reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) deployed the remote-controlled robot on Friday inside one of the damaged reactors that had suffered a meltdown following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
It was the first time the probe had been used.
The robot, set out to collect data on radiation levels and investigate the spread of debris, stalled after moving about 10 meters, according to a statement released by TEPCO.
A newly released report and footage from the robot shows that a fallen object had blocked its path and left it stranded.
TEPCO decided to cut off the cable connected to the device on April 12 as it had already collected data on radiation levels in 14 of the 18 targeted locations, completing around two-thirds of the originally planned route.
The second robot was sent in on April 15 and collected data from all 11 points, as scheduled.
Four years after the devastating nuclear crisis, the radiation levels inside the three damaged reactors are still extremely high and remain unsafe for people to enter.
Decommissioning work is estimated to cost $50 billion and will take years to complete.
TEPCO called the robotic probe an “unprecedented” experiment.
CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki reported from Tokyo, Japan and Naomi Ng wrote from Hong Kong.