Saturday February 11, 2017

Cleaner Robot Pulled from Fukushima Reactor Due to Immense Radiation

Pop quiz: what happens when you put a robot rated to withstand 1000 Sieverts of radiation into an area that emits about 650 Sieverts of radiation per hour? Um, it gets fried pretty quickly. Obviously, we are depending on these little guys to get us out of the Fukushima mess, which houses radiation levels that would kill any person instantly, but it turns out that the toxic environment is doing quite the number on non-organics as well. Sadly, cleanup is expected to take "decades."

News Image

A remote-controlled cleaning robot sent into a damaged reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant had to be removed Thursday before it completed its work because of camera problems most likely caused by high radiation levels. It was the first time a robot has entered the chamber inside the Unit 2 reactor since a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami critically damaged the Fukushima Da-ichi nuclear plant. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it was trying to inspect and clean a passage before another robot does a fuller examination to assess damage to the structure and its fuel. The second robot, known as the "scorpion," will also measure radiation and temperatures. Thursday's problem underscores the challenges in decommissioning the wrecked nuclear plant.