Robot Called Little Sunfish finds melted nuclear fuel in Fukushima reactor

A major milestone in the clear-up operation at the ‘crippled’ Fukushima plant has been completed following a three-day investigation using a small, remote-controlled underwater robot nicknamed "Little Sunfish".

The twin cameras affixed to the robot first spied what investigators believed was melted fuel debris on Friday, with a second day search turning up more details about the chunky deposits on the floor.

The images collected also chronicled the heavy damage inflicted by the core meltdown, with fuel debris mixed in with broken reactor parts.

The robot, roughly the size of a loaf of bread, gave investigators a long-awaited look at the inside of the dormant nuclear plant.

A four-member team controlled its operation, using its five propellers to move the robot around.

Sky News reports that "There is a high possibility that the solidified objects are mixtures of melted metal and fuel that fell from the vessel," a Tokyo Electric Power Company spokesman said, adding that the company was planning further analysis of the images. 

Meanwhile the NY Daily News stated The fuel found in Unit 3 was on the bottom of a structure dubbed “the pedestal,” located beneath the core and inside its primary containment vessel. 

The BBC concluded that the company said more time was needed to analyse the debris further.