FUKUSHIMA, JAPAN (CBS SF) — The first video and photos taken inside ground zero of the Fukushima nuclear powerplant that melted down in the 2011 magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami show a devastating radioactive mess.
For the first time, researchers were able to see and measure conditions inside the doomed facility, including inside Reactor Number 1.
An experimental robot sent in recorded radiation levels that remained near 10 sieverts, enough to kill a person.
Tokyo Electric Power released this detailed report on Monday illustrating how the robot’s path was blocked by debris, but it managed to get far enough inside to capture steaming equipment, and measure radiation that would kill humans within
The robot could no longer continue after going 30 feet and capturing 3 hours of video, so the operators abandoned it.
Fully decommissioning the ravaged reactor is estimated to cost $50 billion and take years, once it’s safe to begin work.
RELATED: Survive a tsunami by walking faster
Debris from the tsunami and nuclear meltdown has been slowly churning across the Pacific Ocean, with pieces appearing on Northern California beaches. Radiation levels in the debris have not been a concern yet.
RELATED: Man Finds Intricately Carved Wood, Likely From Fukushima