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February 21, 2017 9:42

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20:53 9 February 2017

Robot probe of Fukushima reactor halted due to glitch

TOKYO, Feb. 9, Kyodo

An operation to prepare to examine the inside of the No. 2 reactor at the disaster-struck Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was halted Thursday due to a technical glitch, the plant operator said.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said it sent a robot with a high-pressure water nozzle into a containment structure housing the pressure vessel, but suspended the work after video images from a camera on the robot became dark.

TEPCO said high radiation levels may have caused the camera glitch. The camera was designed to withstand cumulative radiation exposure up to 1,000 sieverts. Previously the company said up to 530 sieverts per hour of radiation was detected within the reactor containment structure in late January. The radiation reading during the robot operation Thursday was 650 sieverts, TEPCO said.

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