Toshiba's 'scorpion' robot will look into Fukushima reactor

Toshiba's 'scorpion' robot will look into Fukushima reactor
A robot developed by Toshiba Corp. is demonstrated at its laboratory in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. As Japan struggles in the early stages of decades-long cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Toshiba has developed the robot that raises its tail like a scorpion and collects data, and hopefully locate some of melted debris. The "scorpion" robot, which is 54 centimeters (21 inches) long when extended, has two cameras, LED lighting and a dosimeter, will be sent into the Unit 2 reactor in August to look. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

A new robot that raises its tail like a scorpion is scheduled to look at melted nuclear fuel inside one of the three wrecked Fukushima reactors in Japan.

Toshiba Corp., co-developer of the "scorpion" crawler that was demonstrated Tuesday, said the robot will venture into the Unit 2 reactor's primary containment vessel in August after a month of training for its handlers.

Officials hope the robot can see the fuel in the pressure vessel in the middle of the reactor. The fuel hasn't been located exactly and studied because of the high radiation levels.

The difficult work of decommissioning the Fukushima plant damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami will take decades.

The scorpion robot is the second to enter a primary containment vessel, after "snake" robots were sent in April inside the worst-hit Unit 1. One of the two robots used in that reactor became stuck and had to be left behind, and neither was able to spot the melted fuel debris.

This time, the scorpion crawler, which is 54 centimeters (21 inches) long when it is extended, will enter through a duct designed as a passageway for fuel rods. Toshiba has no back up machine.

During the demonstration at a Toshiba lab near Tokyo, the robot slid down a railing as it stretched out like a bar, with a head-mounted LED showing its way. After crawling over a slight gap and landing on a metal platform, the robot lifted its tail, as if looking up at the bottom of the control rod drive, a structure above the platform where some melted nuclear fuel might be left.

Toshiba officials said they hope the robot can capture images of deeper areas of the vessel, though the primary focus is the platform area, so they can design suitable robots that can go deeper into the vessel.

The scorpion also demonstrated it can roll back upright if it hits an obstacle and rolls over. The ability comes from a tail joint in the middle that bends.

One operator controls the robot with a joystick, and another monitors a video feed from the robot and other data. At the Fukushima plant, the robot will be operated remotely from a command center in a separate building.

The work is planned for a full day. The robot is designed with radiation tolerance allowing it to stay more than 10 hours inside the Unit 2 reactor. Protecting plant workers and engineers from radiation exposure is crucial in the decades-long cleanup.

The robot's entry is just the beginning of the reactor investigation required before the most challenging task of removing the melted fuel.


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Japan readies first robot to probe melted Fukushima reactor

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Jun 30, 2015
Is this the same robot that was burned after three hours futile effort to get to the planned location near containment vessel?

Over 4 years passed since Fukushima disaster so it's time for quick recapitulation of the situation:

Two of four reactors suffered complete melt down, one partial meltdown and fourth which was not operational at that time still has big spent fuel problem which cannot be removed, posing threat of explosion if another disaster hits.
In four years what they accomplished was merely pouring water on cores of melted reactors and pumping it into hundreds of storage tanks build in the vicinity of NPP while having no clue what to do with it. Attempts to decontaminate it failed.

The vessel containment of melted down reactors have failed. They developed concrete cracks as well damage of pressure piping during disaster and in aftermath. Through those fissures some of nuclear fuel and highly contaminated water's pouring into ground water system.

Jun 30, 2015
The fact of bridging containment vessel (prelude to China syndrome) alone leads to horrifying conclusions that the problem is unfixable at all, short of currently impossible task of removing all melted nuclear fuel from vessel and/or wherever it went. The truth that anyone involved in mitigation of this disaster wouldn't even utter.

On the top of it after four years TEPCO does not have good account of state of melted down reactors or complete list of damages, since supposedly world leading powerhouse robotics nation cannot produce one dammed good robot that would work in such extreme conditions. Several attempts to deploy robots have been proven complete failure.

It is shocking but they simply do not know what to do. They are in loss, confusion and panic. There is neither plan, nor technology invented yet to tackle the problem.

Jun 30, 2015
Since rate of process of removing radiation from highly contaminated water is many times lower that rate of pumping newly contaminated water into new, freshly built storage tanks, the whole effort is hopeless from engineering point of view. All this is just Sisyphus work, which lead to nowhere since they have to keep pumping water to cool and moderate fission material inside leaky damaged reactors so they will not blow up again. Now many those tanks are also leaking profusely back to ground water adding to chaos. All the contaminated water leaked from reactor vessels and storage tanks ends up in the ocean continually bleeding radiation and all frantic attempts of preventive measures such as "ice wall" utterly failed.

Jun 30, 2015
No one has died from radiation at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex.

Jun 30, 2015
No one has died from radiation at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex.


So far.

Jun 30, 2015
You forgot old prisoners and those old guys indebted to Japanese mafia which were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation within first days and weeks all of them are dying many already died but you want hear it from NHK. They increase acceptable level of radiation 30 times in comparison to what it was before disaster and on the top of that their measurements of radiation were base of beta decay (Geiger) and not on alpha decay which as more deadly to human organism. Also 6000% increase in cancer cases in Fukushima NPP area have been already reported.90% of population in Fukushima area did not return even to so called safe areas. They know better.

Japanese MSM media, in 1984 style propaganda of changing past to control present, covers up gruesome reality of the Fukushima situation with its human implications, not to mention ignores severe problems with remaining 100 aging Japanese nuclear reactors put offline after 03/11/2011.

Jun 30, 2015
posing threat of explosion if another disaster hits.


Impossible.

Jun 30, 2015
"Impossible."
---------------------------------------

That's what they said about meltdowns. That's what they said about complete destruction down to the bottom of containment.

Are you maintaining Unit Three explosion was purely from hydrogen? Fission products point to a criticality.

Jun 30, 2015
No one has died from radiation at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex.
Most of what has been said about Fukushima are more myths than verified data.
http://www.hirosh...tes.html
Japan's Press is 94% antinuclear and calls the Fukushima tsunami accident the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the worldwide media are in the same sense.

Jun 30, 2015
So what is the status of this "China Syndrome"?

Will the cores hit the mantle?

Did the movie lie to us?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Jul 01, 2015
Willies ward, why is there a need for robots? You should volunteer your kids and yourself to an up close examination. Why not being it is harmless, put your kids money where your deceitful mouth is, you have nothing to lose. It'll be like a trip to the Cancer Treatment of Amerika.

Jul 01, 2015
The fact of bridging containment vessel (prelude to China syndrome)..
Geothermal energy comes from radioactive decay.
Earth's core is naturally radioactive.
http://physicswor...ths-heat
"China Syndrome" is just a Hollywood movie's theory.

Jul 01, 2015
You should volunteer your kids and yourself to an up close examination. Why not being it is harmless, put your kids..
At least nuclear power plants have thick radiation protection/shielding to protect our children, that is not the case of renewables that use rare-earth metals that contains traces of radioactive uranium and thorium.

"People too began to suffer. Dalahai villagers say their teeth began to fall out, their hair turned white at unusually young ages, and they suffered from severe skin and respiratory diseases. Children were born with soft bones and cancer rates rocketed."
"Official studies carried out five years ago in Dalahai village confirmed there were unusually high rates of cancer along with high rates of osteoporosis and skin and respiratory diseases."
http://mothersaga...easible/
http://www.ncpa.o...ID=23770

Jul 01, 2015
At least nuclear power plants have thick radiation protection/shielding to protect our children, that is not the case of renewables that use rare-earth metals that contains traces of radioactive uranium and thorium.


Barking up the wrong tree here buddy, I'm not a big proponent of renewables save for solar collecting shingles and siding once a reasonably efficient cost/wh is met. No, I prefer aneutronic fusion being developed by Eric Lerner and his Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Co. ECO-SAFE, CLEAN & CHEAP ENERGY as they remark on the website, if but a fraction of the cost of a single nuclear plant were to be dedicated to this research we may already be reaping the rewards. But where are the profits in that?
http://lawrencevi...ics.com/

Jul 01, 2015
At least nuclear power plants have thick radiation protection/shielding to protect our children, that is not the case of renewables that use rare-earth metals that contains traces of radioactive uranium and thorium.

Whut? You are aware of the orders of magnitude difference, here? And that radioactive fuel isn't always shielded (particularly not during the mining/production process)?

The type of radiation you're getting from those 'contaminated rare eath metals' is (many!) orders of magnitude lest than you are getting from the bricks in your wall?

Jul 01, 2015
"So what is the status of this "China Syndrome"? Will the cores hit the mantle?"
------------------------------------------

The Mantle? How about less than two feet from the water table?!?!

They do not know where the molten remains of the core and reactor vessel are. They keep pouring all the water they can on them trying to keep them from becoming molten again and continuing to eat through everything. We got several fluxes of Neutrons showing they reached self-criticalities, but they went away.

You had better be praying they do not reach the water.

Jul 01, 2015
You had better be praying they do not reach the water.
Yeah. We will pray, dear fearmonger priest.
By the way, where are "GE Mark I & II BWRs" verified data and statistics proving it is more unsafe and harmful than renewables per terawatt-hour? Show us your scaremonger sources.

Jul 04, 2015
Willies ward, why is there a need for robots? You should volunteer your kids and yourself to an up close examination. Why not being it is harmless, put your kids money where your deceitful mouth is, you have nothing to lose. It'll be like a trip to the Cancer Treatment of Amerika.

The manager of the Chernobyl plant went down into the containment building just 6 weeks after the meltdown, took photos and chipped samples from the melted core. He still is at Chernobyl. Why is the Fukushima core still so scary after years?

Jul 04, 2015
"Why is the Fukushima core still so scary after years?"
-------------------------------------

Oh, it's not. I have it from several experts on this forum.

Just go up to one of those huge stacks for about 20 minutes. You can prove it is good for us!

Jul 05, 2015
Just go up to one of those huge stacks for about 20 minutes. You can prove it is good for us!
Tall buildings and skyscrapers are unsafe; jump off and you die.
Furnaces and ovens are unsafe; go in and you toast.
Why would somebody, in all conscience, jump off a building, or get into an oven, or go into a core of a nuclear reactor?
To prove what? If it is already proven: death/TWh: Solar 0.44 , Wind 0.15, Nuclear 0.04
http://theenergyc...r-causes

Jul 05, 2015
Oh, it's not. I have it from several experts on this forum.
gkam and his mates hate the truth; they love to stay believing in their own fantasy, a world powered by unicorn fart energy.

Jul 05, 2015
"Why would somebody, in all conscience, jump off a building, or get into an oven, or go into a core of a nuclear reactor?"
--------------------------------------

To keep the molten Corium from hitting the water table and taking out the Northern Hemisphere?

Jul 05, 2015
You do not have to go into what is left of the molten cores, Willie, just stand by those huge stacks.

BTW, why would they have such immense stacks for a "clean" technology? What nasty stuff do they want to get so far away from people?

Jul 05, 2015
"gkam and his mates hate the truth; they love to stay believing in their own fantasy, a world powered by unicorn fart energy."
----------------------------------------

Grow up and look into the real world. When I was Senior Engineer in Technical Services for Pacific Gas & Electric, our system was fed by wind, hydro, nuclear, geothermal, pumped storage, landfill gas, gas peaking boilers, supercritical gas boilers, solar thermal, photovoltaic, fuel cells of all kinds, some sources I forgot, and even the emergency generators in the facilities of our customers dispatched directly by us.

Wind power and cheap gas (for the short term), already have closed three nuclear power plants. When we integrate all the energy-saving and advanced sources, we will all be suppliers and customers, at our choice. We can and will wean ourselves of Filthy Fuels for the most part.

Jul 05, 2015
You do not have to go into what is left of the molten cores...
No one was killed by Daiichi incident that mass media has biasedly called nuclear disaster mixing it up with the natural tsunami's fatality. When there is no bias, nuclear fewer deaths/TWh than renewables.

Jul 05, 2015
Wind power and cheap gas (for the short term), already have closed three nuclear power plants.
By using fibs/myths to deceive ignorant fearful people instead of statistics and verified data.

Jul 05, 2015
Vermont Yankee.

Kewaunee

San Onofre

From Forbes:
Reactors recently closed or scheduled for closure:

Vermont Yankee, Vermont
San Onofre, California
Kewaunee, Wisconsin
Crystal River, Florida
Oyster Creek, New Jersey

Now, look up Exelon Nuclear, and get back to us.


Jul 05, 2015
Vermont Yankee, Kewaunee, San Onofre, Crystal River, Oyster Creek, Exelon; no one died from their radiation.

On the other side, renewable's fatalities are far greater per unit of energy generated.
"This is a sad day for the 120,000 men and women who work in America's solar industry. We have lost two highly-respected members of our community, Mike Cyr and Jeff Randall. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their family and their friends.."
http://www.renewa...-deaths/
"A Summary of Fatal Accidents in Wind Energy"
http://www.wind-w...x_ttnews[tt_news]=414&cHash=5a7a0eb3236dd3283a3b6d8cf4cc508b
http://www.theene...r-causes
http://nextbigfut...rce.html


Jul 05, 2015
"Let's stop subsidizing environmentally and economically costly green energy pipedreams. The birds, bats, and tortoises will thank us."
http://blog.heart...-claims/

Jul 05, 2015
"Vermont Yankee, Kewaunee, San Onofre, Crystal River, Oyster Creek, Exelon; no one died from their radiation."
----------------------------------------

You can't say that. See the high stacks at those places? Why would a "clean" power source need such high stacks? Why do you think they are so tall? What do you think they are trying to keep away from people?

These plants produce radionuclides outgassing from the cooling loops, and vent it to the atmosphere, but they will not tell you that, unless you press them, then, they will simply dismiss it.

Jul 05, 2015
" Their reactor will burn up to 96 percent of its fuel, compared with only four percent used by light-water reactors, and generate 75 times the electricity per ton of uranium. It's virtually accident-proof and can run on the spent fuel of other reactors. With nearly 80,000 tons of radioactive waste in the U.S. (and with 2,000 tons added every year), it could turn something toxic into something useful."

What this little paragraph of propaganda and wishful thinking tells us is the scope, the magnitude of the nuclear waste problem: We cannot store it for long periods.

It also shows us how inefficient the nuclear reactors are, . . using 4% of the fuel and contaminating the rest???

And, . . why do we use a dangerous technology which needs a Police State to guard it?

Jul 05, 2015
You can't say that. See the high stacks at those places? Why would a "clean" power source need such high stacks? Why do you think they are so tall? What do you think they are trying to keep away from people?
Conspiracy Theory. Do not even know what a cooling tower is for.
These plants produce radionuclides outgassing from the cooling loops, and vent it to the atmosphere, but they will not tell you that, unless you press them, then, they will simply dismiss it.
Where are the measurements and verified data? comparing it with natural radiation?

Jul 05, 2015
Those are not the hyperbolic cooling towers, they are very tall vents for nasty stuff. There is a big difference. I think you do not understand how these plants work.

Even in Willie's new magic and theoretical system, "Because there are no rods to trap krypton and xenon, they are continuously off-gassed."

Jul 05, 2015
Those are not the hyperbolic cooling towers, they are very tall vents for nasty stuff. There is a big difference. I think you do not understand how these plants work.
Even in Willie's new magic and theoretical system, "Because there are no rods to trap krypton and xenon, they are continuously off-gassed."
In the same way, the wind farms are hyperbolically tall in order to hide radioactivity from rare-earth metals that contain traces of uranium and thorium and emit radioactive particles to everywhere contaminating everyone with lung cancer.

Jul 05, 2015
Sorry, Willie, but you're just babbling nonsense.

Jul 05, 2015
".. rare earth elements .. They are used in everything from oil refineries to solar and wind generators."
"Rare Earths Problem Could Have A Nuclear Solution"
http://oilprice.c...ion.html

"..in every rare-earth venture's room, was the radioactive thorium- and/or uranium-bearing waste that will be generated by the extraction, separation, and refining operations that are the supply chain steps immediately following mining and mechanical concentration."
"The Issue of Residual Thorium & Uranium From Rare-Earth Ore Processing"
http://www.techme...cessing/

"The most common source of thorium is the rare earth.."
http://www.world-...Thorium/


Jul 05, 2015
So you are referring to Thorium as a dangerous material?

We told you.

Jul 06, 2015
So you are referring to Thorium as a dangerous material?
"..it decays very slowly through alpha decay to radium-228, starting a decay chain named the thorium series that ends at lead-208. Thorium is estimated to be about three to four times more abundant than uranium in the Earth's crust, and is chiefly refined from monazite sands as a by-product of extracting rare earth metals."
http://en.wikiped.../Thorium

According to Eng. George Kamburoff, a self-declared expert:
"..an alpha emitter, and if inhaled can bombard sensitive lung tissue with 5.4 MeV particles, causing cancer."
"..radioactive waste is all one thing that contaminates everything it touches."

And according to nuclear-phobics: "..even the very lowest levels of radiation are harmful to life.."
Thereby the wind farms should be decommissioned, and all the uranium and thorium should be collected and sent to nuclear power plants where they have suitable radiation shielding.

Jul 06, 2015
Willie, you just showed complete ignorance of the fuel cycle. Mining for coal and Uranium are dangerous, filthy, and unnecessary now. We should now try to deal with the decades of nasty waste we got from those technologies.

It has been piling up. Why do you try to ignore it?

Jul 06, 2015
"Cleaning up" a contaminated mess just means contaminating some other place.

What are you going to do with the intensely-radioactive waste?

Jul 06, 2015
..Uranium are dangerous, filthy..nasty waste..
Oceans are naturally plentiful of radioactive uranium, thorium, and radium, and it represents no meaningful risk to life forms.
http://www.indepe...731.html
http://cen.acs.or...Sea.html

Jul 06, 2015
They do not need radiation-hardened robots to work on wind turbines. So, which technology has the problem?

Jul 06, 2015
They do not need radiation-hardened robots to work on wind turbines.
But even so, kill much more birds, bats, and humans than nuclear power per unit of energy generated.


Jul 06, 2015
Google birds fukushima.

Jul 07, 2015
Google birds fukushima.
More than 94% media and web contents are biased.
Most are more based on myths than verified/per-reviewed data.

"The mutations have begun in Fukushima; Birds found blind.."
http://enenews.co...ce-conta
Fraudulent correlations,e.g. 'enenews', to blame nuclear power for some congenital malformations.

"Mass Deaths of California Seabirds: Fukushima Radiation Casualties?"
http://www.topsec...ualties/
on the other side of the world, radiation decreases to the square of the distance (1/r²) becoming almost nil, what is there it is likely natural radiation.

And they conveniently forget that wind blades kill much more.

Jul 07, 2015
No, Willie, even you now understand you are backing not just a loser, but something criminal. Knowing the odds that these things will erupt again, they still force them on us because their paychecks depend on it.

Jul 07, 2015
..something criminal..
Renewable kills much more and poses hypocritically as the safest and Eco-friendliest alternative. But the statistics say otherwise, it is ecologically worse than nuclear.

Jul 07, 2015
Did Willie look up "Chernobyl" and "children"?

It is very important he see the pictures.

Jul 07, 2015
A lamentable incident, but it's not a systematic killer as renewable is.
Nuclear provides cheap energy to Russian children and their families to keep them warmed during the winter, because unicorn fart energy is far to provide it at reasonable prices with no environmental impact on wildlife's habitats.

Jul 07, 2015
Give it up, Willie.

The issue is trying to build robots which won't be destroyed by the intense radiation at Fukushima.

Jul 08, 2015
Give it up..
No one died from Fukushima radiation, and renewable kill much more than nuclear.
The issue is trying to build robots which won't be destroyed by the intense radiation at Fukushima.
Brave robots, many thanks to them; but not thanks to coward engineer who run away with the excuse of chasing unicorns to harness their fart energy to power the world for free since with voluminous subsidies.

Jul 08, 2015
Sorry,Willie, your posts will not be read by me.

I suggest you go help at Fukushima, since you think it is such a good idea. Why not? You waste every day here demonstrating your biases. You could be helping your favorite technology, .. and LEARNING something.

Jul 08, 2015
I suggest you go help at Fukushima..
No problem, radiation level near Fukushima is not as much than natural radioactivity in many places on Earth (20mSv/yr less than 800mSv/yr).
"..government's 20 mSv/yr limit for returnees."
http://www.world-...xposure/

Jul 08, 2015
Sorry,Willie, your posts will not be read by me
Coward.
So you are referring to Thorium as a dangerous material?

We told you
Yeah, you told us that thorium reactor research was being abandoned worldwide even though the opposite is true.

Youre a liar. No one can trust a word you say.

Jul 09, 2015
Yeah, you told us that thorium reactor research was being abandoned worldwide even though the opposite is true."
--------------------------------

No,otto, I said we had abandoned it.

Your need to punish is getting in the way of rationality, otto. You continually misrepresent what I say then call me a liar. If this were a field in which you had an education or experience it might pass, but you are ignorant in this field.

The only thing you are making obvious is your lack of character.

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