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Fox finds way into highly radioactive reactor building at Fukushima plant

A fox is seen inside the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant's No. 2 reactor building in this video frame grab provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

A camera at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has captured video of a fox poking around a very dangerous place: inside the No. 2 reactor building, where radiation levels can reach more than 10 sieverts per hour.

    An animal believed to be a fox was seen outside the No. 2 reactor containment vessel, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said. Despite the likely high radiation dose the fox was absorbing, the utility said the animal did not show any signs of weakness on the video.

    The fox is about 1.3 meters long, and appeared on-camera on the morning of Dec. 21. It spent 7 to 8 minutes walking around within view before disappearing. TEPCO staff do not know how the animal got into the reactor building, and there was no sign of the fox on any of the walking or driving routes at the plant.

    In 2013, the cooling system for a spent fuel pool stopped temporarily when a mouse found its way into an electrical switchboard and caused a power outage. A TEPCO representative said, however, that the company is "moving ahead with replacing electrical cables and plumbing, and there would be little damage even if they were chewed on."

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