The Robots Have Finally Arrived at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant - RiseEarth

The Robots Have Finally Arrived at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant


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About a month ago, many people were wondering why robots weren't more heavily used at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. After all, Japan is a leader in robotics and robots can more easily operate in radioactive environments than humans.




Parts of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have joined the surface of Mars and the blast radius of an IED as environments so harsh that they can be braved only by robots. On Sunday TEPCO, the Japanese utility responsible for Fukushima, sent a pair of iRobot packbots into parts of the plant that have not been seen since the facility was evacuated in the wake of a strike by a tsunami. Packbots are best known for having been deployed with the U.S. Army throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.

Interior rooms of reactors 1 and 3, which the robots entered with video cameras and sensors for radiation, temperature and humidity, proved to be intact despite the explosions of hydrogen gas at both. Elsewhere in the complex, a remote-controlled excavator, transporter and helicopter have been put to use in order to explore areas too contaminated with radiation for humans.

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