The set of three self contained boxes has been installed at unit 1 of Fukushima Daiichi and will run for about a month before results could be known.
The project was initially conceived by scientists at Los Alamos national lab in the US. The project is currently being run by Toshiba and coordinated by IRID. After initial test runs at a research reactor facility in Tokai Japan, the actual test is now underway on unit 1.
The scan will only be able to reference the area of the reactor vessel. Fuel that has relocated elsewhere in or outside of the reactor vessel may not be able to be picked up by the scanners. It should be able to at least document if any fuel remains in the reactor vessel. If so, how much remains should be able to be determined. Even if the scan finds no fuel within the reactor vessel this would be useful information. IRID and the various contractors involved in dealing with the damaged reactors can then adjust their research to deal with that situation.
Internal contents of the muon scanning shield box. The scanning plates can be seen inside
Muon scanner shield boxes as seen in development phase
Location of two of the muon scanners will be placed in the north east corner of unit 1’s building, outside of the building and cover tent walls. This location was likely chosen as one with lower radiation and fewer structures in the way.
IRID handout for muon scan installation
IRID report on muon scan project
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