Particles From The Edge Of Space Shine A Light On Fukushima via NPR

It’s one of the greatest, and most disturbing, questions of the Fukushima disaster: What happened to the nuclear fuel inside the plant? Now physicists are trying to shed some light on the problem using particles from the edge of space.

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It’s one of the greatest, and most disturbing, questions of the Fukushima disaster: What happened to the nuclear fuel inside the plant? Now physicists are trying to shed some light on the problem using particles from the edge of space.

[…]
“You can make something that looks like an X-ray, so you can take a picture of what’s inside the reactor,” he says.

Uranium is extremely dense, so it shows up as a shadow in a muon photograph, just as bones cast shadows that are white in an X-ray.

Two Japanese laboratories have already taken some fuzzy muon pictures of two of Fukushima’s reactors.

“They don’t see much of a shadow,” Morris says. “That means a lot of the core must be missing from the region where the core was.”

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