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The Robots Sent Into Fukushima Just Keep Dying

The Robots Sent Into Fukushima Just Keep Dying thumbnail

The robots sent in to investigate the nuclear fallout at Fukushima just aren’t good enough.

Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) head of decommissioning admitted on Thursday that more creativity was needed in developing its robots sent to the reactive zone.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant was massively damaged in 2011, when three of the six nuclear reactors suffered meltdown after being struck by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and associated tsunami waves.

More than 100,000 residents of the nearby Fukushima Prefecture had to be relocated, and the government has spent the last five years struggling with the aftermath. The incident is regarded as the world’s largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Part of the clean-up includes robots, sent in to probe the site, because radiation levels are too high for humans.

But earlier last month, a robot sent into Fukushima’s No. 2 reactor was forced to abort its mission after it was blocked by deposits — believed to be a mixture of melted fuel and broken pieces of structure.

Two previous robots had also failed in its missions after one was stuck in a gap and another was abandoned after being unable to find fuel during six days of searching.

This is an example of one of the robots TEPCO had sent to probe the area in the past.

“We should think out of the box so we can examine the bottom of the core and how melted fuel debris spread out,” TEPCO Head of Decommissioning Naohiro Masuda said.

Mr Masuda also added that he wants another robot sent in before deciding on methods to remove the reactor’s debris.

Despite the failed probe missions, officials have added that they want to stick to their schedule of starting the site clean up in 2021. 

Decommissioning the site is expected to cost tens of billions of dollars and last around 40 years.

Fukushima’s No. 2 reactor was found in February to have a radiation level of 530 sieverts.

Exposure to four sieverts is enough to be lethal, according to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

South Korea’s low-cost carrier Jeju Air also announced on Tuesday that it would not use Fukushima Airport due to fears of radiation.

Some of its customers had reportedly posted online that they would not use the airline because they didn’t want to “board airplanes that flew over Fukushima.”

14 Comments on "The Robots Sent Into Fukushima Just Keep Dying"

  1. Cloggie on Sun, 5th Mar 2017 3:16 pm 

    But remember folks, this won’t happen again with the next generation of nukes.


  2. Midnight Oil on Sun, 5th Mar 2017 3:28 pm 

    Listen, send in Dick Cheney in there, it will add decades to the beat of his heart!
    Probably, improve his looks to boot.
    Honestly, there is probably no fix for this mess. Michael Ruppert hit it right…wait until another earthquake and flood.
    Wait is really odd is these folks actually believe placing contanimated soil in bags is “cleaning up”.
    Maybe they should just those bags in the ocean! Like all the other stuff..

  3. onlooker on Sun, 5th Mar 2017 3:31 pm 

    What good are robots if the can’t do the dangerous nasty jobs most people would pass on. Umm, I am sure some think the same way about the migrants

  4. Kenz300 on Sun, 5th Mar 2017 4:15 pm 

    Nuclear energy is poisoning the planet..
    5 Years After Fukushima, ‘No End in Sight’ to Ecological Fallout

    Seems like wind and solar energy are safer, cleaner and cheaper. It is time for Japan to decommission all their nuclear power plants and move to solar power.

    Solar Cost Hits World’s New Low, Half the Price of Coal

  5. TrainDriver on Sun, 5th Mar 2017 4:47 pm 

    The robot in the second video is about the lamest thing they could have sent in there. No wonder they keep getting stuck – it almost got stuck on a pile of gravel.

  6. makati1 on Sun, 5th Mar 2017 6:48 pm 

    Come on Techies! What is your problem? Tech can solve anything! A simple thing like a radiation safe bot should be child’s play for you. After all aren’t you trying to make a ‘sun on earth’ for fusion power? Go to Mars. Save humanity? And you cannot even make a simple bot to check out your Fukushima fiasco after six years of trying? LMAO

  7. Midnight Oil on Sun, 5th Mar 2017 8:01 pm 

    All the Ru Russians did was go to a downtown toy department store and purchased a childs remote control tractor and adapted it to video and other tasks inside the melted down reactor in Chernobyl. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was made in Japan. LOL

  8. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 4:28 am 

    too cheap to meter

  9. Cloggie on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 6:54 am 

    These NOT dying robots. Self driving car in San Franciso:

    Picture inside:

    Self driving cars will eventually become an extension of the public transport system and eliminate need of private car ownership and clear the city streets of ugly parked cars and vastly lower the total embodied energy of the (vastly shrunk) global car fleet.

  10. Mark on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 10:50 am 

    Site cleanup by 2021? They must on some really good drugs!

  11. BobInget on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 11:09 am 

    I believe the point of this article demonstrates how
    futile it is dealing with radiation this intense.
    Japanese robotics, the best in the world, costing millions to build, have lives measured in minutes not days.

    It’s so ironic. Japan, the only nation attacked with nuclear weapons in mid 20th century may perish from a self inflicted nuclear disaster almost seventy years

    For Americans/Canadians living on our West Coast…..

    Share all those Fuk U/Tube videos on Halloween to scare the livin crap outta teenagers thinking of having unprotected sex..

  12. Casey Stone on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 2:11 pm 

    The balance of existence and experience and the end of the late great PLANET EARTH

  13. Terry Freeman on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 6:30 pm 

    As an ex health physics technician who worked on 33 nuclear power plant outages including a couple decommissioned facilities, I find it hard to believe that the Japanese nuclear community hasn’t reached out to the US for advice on damaged reactor fuel handling? No other country in the world has handled more damaged reactors than us? Late 50’s Army reactor SL-1 which killed 3 servicemen, an untold amount of research reactors that went critical and killed many scientists, Simi Valley in California which melted down the sodium cooled core was another, does Three Mile Island ring a bell or Shippingport which was the first US land based commercial reactor? It’s been 6 years since Fukushima was damaged, that site has been dumping 300 tons of water directly in contact with melted fuel rods into the Pacific, with no end in sight? I think that every nation in the world should help the Japanese pull their heads out of their asses, and inform them that they don’t have the right to contaminate the whole Pacific and everyone’s natural coastlines? Radiation poisoning is a very slow painful death to the general public? BTW…they haven’t even gotten into Unit 3, which was the most severely damaged reactors of the 3 melted down? Another little tidbit of information here…NRC guidelines for radiation exposure in the US is 5 Rem/year…which you are only allowed to get 75% of that annually. A High Radiation area is designated by 100 mRem/Hr. and above….530 Sieverts = 53,000 Rem/HR. 1 hour of exposure like that will kill a person in less than an hour after being exposed. The Japanese plan of attack is to start decommissioning the site in 2021…a full 10 years after the triple meltdown? My theory is by then the whole Pacific and coastlines of everyone that’s been contaminated will be so polluted… they won’t even try? And don’t forget about the N. Korean asshats rattling every nation who could launch a nuclear strike on that ass backwards tyrannical nation. Just because they have made their citizens fearful of them….the rest of the nation’s who could swat them like a fly aren’t gonna take this shit much longer?

  14. dave thompson on Tue, 7th Mar 2017 4:38 am this is from 2011.

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