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New decontamination robot for Fukushima Daiichi

December 16, 2015


New decontamination robot for Fukushima unveiled



Dec. 16, 2015 - Updated 13:04 UTC+1

Engineers have unveiled a robot designed to facilitate decontamination work in reactor buildings at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan.

The developers showed the robot to the media on Wednesday. They include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company.

The engineers say the new robot can reach upper floors and deep inside the buildings where other clean-up robots could not operate.

Decontamination work is needed before decommissioning the damaged reactors. Workers have used robots for the work in the past. But the need to supply materials to scrape off thin layers of contaminated surfaces has prevented the devices from reaching distant locations.

The new robot is made up of 4 devices connected by hoses and cables that can extend up to 65 meters.

The front device is capable of decontamination work. The 2 central devices supply chemicals and other materials. And the last one is used for communication.

Each device has been made compact so the robot can operate deep inside reactor buildings.

Tokyo Electric officials say they hope to deploy the robot at the plant after April next year.

A Mitsubishi official says the robot is capable of cleaning upper floors, so he expects it to help advance work on the reactors.


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