Robot probes crippled nuke reactor for melted fuel

TOKYO — An underwater robot entered a badly shop-worn reactor at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant Wednesday, capturing images of the harsh impact of its meltdown, including pivotal structures that were ripped and knocked out of place.

Plant user Tokyo Electric Power Co. pronounced the robot, nicknamed “the Little Sunfish,” successfully finished the day’s work inside the primary containment vessel of the Unit 3 reactor at Fukushima, which was broken by a large Mar 2011 trembler and tsunami.

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TEPCO orator Takahiro Kimoto praised the work, observant the robot prisoner views of the underwater repairs that had not been formerly seen. However, the images contained no apparent sign of the melted nuclear fuel that researchers wish to locate, he said.

The robot was left inside the reactor nearby a structure called the pedestal, and is approaching to go deeper inside for a fuller review Friday in hopes of anticipating the melted fuel.

“The repairs to the structures was caused by the melted fuel or its heat,” Kimoto told a late-night news discussion held 9 hours after the examine finished its scrutiny progressing in the day.

The robot, about the distance of a fritter of bread, is versed with lights, maneuvers with 5 propellers and collects information with two cameras and a dosimeter. It is tranquil remotely by a organisation of 4 operators.

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The robot was co-developed by Toshiba Corp., the wiring and appetite company charged with assisting purify up the plant, and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, a government-funded consortium.

It was on a goal to study the repairs and find the fuel that experts contend has melted, breached the core and mostly depressed to the bottom of the primary containment chamber, where it has been submerged by rarely hot water as low as 20 feet.

The robot detected that a abrade height that is ostensible to be next the reactor core was blank and apparently was knocked down by melted fuel and other materials that fell from above, and that tools of a reserve complement called a control rod drive were also missing.

Remote-controlled robots are pivotal to the decades-long decommissioning of the shop-worn plant, but super-high levels of deviation and constructional repairs have hampered progressing probes at two other reactors at the plant.

Japanese officials contend they wish to establish rough methods for stealing the melted nuclear fuel this summer and start work in 2021.

Scientists need to know the fuel’s accurate plcae and know the constructional repairs in any of the 3 wrecked reactors to work out the safest and many fit ways to mislay the fuel.

Robots tested progressing became stuck inside the two other reactors. A scorpion-shaped robot’s crawling duty unsuccessful and it was left inside the plant’s Unit 2 containment vessel. A snake-shaped robot designed to transparent waste for the scorpion examine was private after two hours when its cameras unsuccessful due to deviation levels 5 times aloft than anticipated.

The robot used Wednesday was designed to endure deviation of up to 200 sieverts – a turn that can kill humans instantly.

Kimoto pronounced the robot showed that the Unit 3 reactor cover was “clearly some-more exceedingly damaged” than Unit 2, which was explored by the scorpion probe.

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Posted by on Jul 20 2017. Filed under WORLD. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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