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Toshiba created a radiation-shielded selfie stick to investigate the melted Fukushima reactor

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.
AP Photo/Koji Sasahara
At the end of the day, it’s a camera on a stick.

The latest innovation from Japan to investigate the melted core of the Fukushima #1 reactor is a camera on a really long telescoping stick—which should be vaguely familiar to anyone who has recently visited a tourist hotspot.

To further investigate the extent of the 2011 nuclear disaster which followed an earthquake and tsunami, Toshiba created the 13 meter (43 ft) device to thread a camera into a containment vessel. Officials hope it will reveal information about damage caused by melted fuel. Presently the extent of that damage is for the most part unknown.

The apparatus carries a camera on the end, making it effectively the same as a selfie stick, but it’s also designed to withstand high levels of nuclear radiation.

Prior attempts to survey the damage have destroyed many robots. The areas under study have radiation levels of 250-650 sieverts an hour, enough to incapacitate and kill a human in under a minute.

The full clean-up and demolition of the damaged facility is expected to take at least three decades.

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