Fukushima cleanup chief urges better use of probe robot

The head of decommissioning for the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant says more creativity in needed in developing robots to locate and assess the condition of melted fuel rods.

Naohiro Masuda, president of Fukushima Dai-ichi decommissioning, said Thursday that more data is needed so they can develop a better strategy for removing debris. The plant will decide on a method this summer.

Masuda said a robot sent inside the Unit 2 containment vessel last month could not reach as close to the core area as hoped, because it was blocked on its planned route by deposits. Masuda said he wants another probe sent in before deciding on methods to remove the reactor's debris.

Unit 2 is one of the Fukushima reactors that melted down following the 2011 quake and tsunami.