Robot stalls at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

 Robot stalls at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

A robot sent in to perform decommissioning work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan stalled just hours into its project.
 
Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the robot stopped moving three hours into its inspection of the Unit 1 containment vessel, covering 14 of the 18 locations before it stalled, according to The Guardian. TEPCO workers said they would cut the cables to the robot and postpone a similar inspection using a separate device. Workers are investigating the cause of the issue.
 
The robot was jointly developed by Hitachi-GE Energy and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning and was designed to work for 10 hours even when exposed to radiation levels that would cause other electrical devices to stop working, the article said. The robot was also made to transform into different shapes depending on its surroundings and would take pictures from inside of the reactor containment vessel and record temperatures and radiation levels. Radiation levels inside the heavily-damaged Unit 1 are still too high for humans to enter, so the robots were seen as a way to monitor the melted fuel inside before removal. A three-day study completed in March showed that Unit 1 did, in fact, melt down during the 2011 disaster.

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