'Scorpion' robot mission inside Fukushima reactor aborted

February 16, 2017
The "scorpion" robot is designed to withstand up to 1,000 sieverts of radiation

A "scorpion" robot sent into a Japanese nuclear reactor to learn about the damage suffered in a tsunami-induced meltdown had its mission aborted after the probe ran into trouble, Tokyo Electric Power company said Thursday.

TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, sent the remote-controlled device into the No. 2 reactor where radiation levels have recently hit record highs.

The "scorpion" robot, so-called because it can lift up its camera-mounted tail to achieve better viewing angles, is also designed to crawl over rubble inside the damaged facility.

But it could not reach its target destination beneath a pressure vessel through which nuclear fuel is believed to have melted because the robot had difficulty moving, a company spokeswoman said.

"It's not immediately clear if that's because of radiation or obstacles," she said, adding that TEPCO is checking what data the robot was able to obtain, including images.

A massive undersea earthquake on March 11, 2011 sent a huge tsunami barrelling into Japan's northeast coast, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or missing, and sending three reactors into meltdown at the plant in the worst such accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

The Japanese government said in December that it expects the total costs—including compensation, decommissioning and decontamination—to reach 21.5 trillion yen ($189 billion) in a process likely to take decades as high radiation levels slow operations.

The 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima was triggered by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, which left more than 18,000 people dead or missing

The , 60 centimetres (24 inches) long, is made by Toshiba and equipped with two cameras and sensors to gauge and temperatures.

"Scorpion's mission is to take images of the situation and collect data inside the containment vessel," TEPCO spokesman Shinichi Nakakuki said earlier.

"Challenges include enduring high levels of radiation and moving on the rough surface," he said.

Radiation levels inside the reactor were estimated last week at 650 sieverts per hour at one spot, which can effectively shut down robots in hours.

But the probe—designed to withstand up to 1,000 sieverts of radiation in total—would not sustain severe damage because it was unlikely to remain for too long at a single point, Nakakuki said.

Japan estimates the total cost of the Fukushima disaster could reach 21.5 trillion yen ($189 billion) as high radiation levels slow decontamination operations near the striken reactors

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gkam
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 16, 2017
Meanwhile, the PV systems on our block are producing clean power for our neighborhood.

No dangers, no intensely-radioactive nuclear waste, no pollution.
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 16, 2017
The "scorpion" robot is designed to withstand up to 1,000 sieverts of radiation


Please replace this with a meaningful measure. Sievert is the unit for biologically effective dose. A robot is not a biological entity. Gray would be an appropriate unit.
OdinsAcolyte
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 16, 2017
No hope is there?
Fill it with barium. At least it would shield the radiation a bit.
Meanwhile it shall continue to melt....through the water table. Through the crust.
You ain't seen nothing yet.
Fission sucks.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (6) Feb 16, 2017
Meanwhile, the PV systems on our block are producing clean power for our neighborhood...
...no pollution.
Meanwhile, Japan, Germany, California, Vermont, etc., are ever more reliant on fossil fuels to compensate intermittencies of so-called renewables, and, due to air pollution, are provoking the death of thousands of people each day, millions each year, while zero death was caused by radiation exposure at Fukushima power plant.
KahntSingh
3 / 5 (4) Feb 16, 2017
As a matter of cosmic history, it's always been easier to destroy than create,
not now, Fukashima has created a significant mess with yet unknown destruction to come.
Solon
3 / 5 (4) Feb 16, 2017
Strange how after 6 months the inspector at Chernobyl could go down and photograph the remains of the core, went back down many times over the years, and is still alive. 6 years later at Fukushima they still don't have a picture, should have sent in the Russians, except that they would have soon discovered the whole affair is a great money making scam.
Ruger
5 / 5 (2) Feb 16, 2017
Proceedings of the Second International Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Conference
Texas A&M University - September 13-14, 1996

Advanced transmutation processes
and their application for the decontamination of radioactive nuclear wastes

Brown's Gas looks like a usable process.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Feb 16, 2017
Please replace this with a meaningful measure. Sievert is the unit for biologically effective dose. A robot is not a biological entity. Gray would be an appropriate unit
According to the official toshiba press release, which includes equipt specs as follows;

"Radiation hardness
Approx. 1000 Sv (target) or higher
(Design target:100 Sv/h ´ 10 hours)"

"Drive time
Designed to operate approximately for 10 hours in an environment with a dose rate of 100 Sv/h"
http://www.toshib...3001.htm

-The experts who designed this robot preferred sieverts.

I wonder why? I also wonder why you would think you would know better than the experts at toshiba how to rate the radiation tolerance of their robots?

I am guessing that for complex systems designed to perform human-like tasks, sieverts offers a better baseline comparison to what humans could normally tolerate.

But I dont know for sure and wouldnt want to pretend that I did.
1spirit
2 / 5 (4) Feb 17, 2017
The ongoing Nuclear Nightmare continues, denial included. The United states is downwind, and downstream from these meltdowns, 4 that we know of. The Japanese are dumping the radioactive water in the ocean, in addition to burning radioactive material.
Japan is hot, the world is in denial, like a cruel joke, the world plans on sending the best athletes on the planet within 100 miles of the worst nuclear disaster ever, dwarfing Chernobyl at this point, because basically no containment exists that is even cutting back on the release of the cores, which by the way have melted down with a continued reaction guaranteed for 1000's of years.
The entire scientific community should be ashamed of themselves, someone step up to the plate before ir is too late...or is it already?
To not fight back when you know, is a crime in itself, to yourself, and to humanity.
The coverup by the Obama people is borderline treason.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 17, 2017
"How much of the Fukushima fear mongering is a result of mental illness?"
"Paranoid Delusion"
https://pbs.twimg...pg:large
"A paranoid delusion is the fixed, false belief that one is being harmed or persecuted by a particular person or group of people. Paranoid delusions are known technically as a "persecutory delusion." "
"It involves the person's belief that he or she is being conspired against, cheated, spied on, followed, poisoned or drugged, maliciously maligned, harassed, or obstructed in the pursuit of long-term goals."
"Small slights may be exaggerated and become the focus of a delusional system with a person suffers from a paranoid delusion."
"The focus of the delusion is often on some injustice that must be remedied by legal action. The affected person may engage in repeated attempts to obtain satisfaction by appeal to the courts and other government agencies..."
https://psychcent...elusion/
jakeo
not rated yet Feb 18, 2017
Has the robot been incapacitated by physical obstacles, or worse...higher levels of radiation?
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 18, 2017
Willie, . . Willie, . . .it's real. Got that?

REAL.

Not a paranoid delusion. Not a misunderstanding.

Three meltdowns, four reactors damaged permanently.

The cost so far is estimated to be over $190,000,000,000, and the time of 40 years, or two generations of our best engineers, technicians, managers, and workers.

Are you confessing to delusions?

gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 18, 2017
jakeo, radiation kills them.

https://phys.org/...due.html
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2017
REAL.

Not a paranoid delusion. Not a misunderstanding.
Fossil fuel barons are loving all that, thanks to faux-greens and antinuclear fearmongers and their cognitive dissonance:
"Closure of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant boosted greenhouse gas emissions in New England" - Feb 18, 2017
http://www.massli...ank.html
The anti-nuclear movement should be renamed the pro-fossil fuel movement.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2017
Look at the post, Willie. Who is going to PAY for the corporate disaster they inflicted on others? It was estimated to cost at least $190,000,000,000 but that was before their latest discoveries and the death of a robot which could take 1000 Sieverts.

The radiation fries everything, Willie, what are you going to do?
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2017
"If 100 people get a sudden dose of 350 rems of radiation, about 3.5 sieverts, then about half of them will die in 60 days."

That is 3.5, Willie, and the robot got more than 1000!

Will you go in there and save us?

http://blogs.agu....ill-you/
Frosted Flake
5 / 5 (3) Feb 19, 2017
When I visited Japan aboard USS Haddo, many years ago, it was very clear the locals were very concerned about possible nuclear problems. I can only vainly attempt to vaguely imagine how the folks feel about this bad science fiction movie they are all now trying to live through.

Insert appropriate swear words here.
WillieWard
5 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2017
"If 100 people get a sudden dose of 350 rems of radiation, about 3.5 sieverts, then about half of them will die in 60 days."
gskam, if you put your head inside of a microwave oven to be exposed to microwave radiation, you will die in few seconds, microwave radiation is fatal.
https://fabiusmax...g-no.jpg
gkam
Feb 19, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2017
"gskam, if you put your head inside of a microwave oven to be exposed to microwave radiation, you will die in few seconds, microwave radiation is fatal."
-------------------------------

Okay, I'll watch, you show me how you do it. Don't forget to bypass the interlock.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 19, 2017
Frosted Flake, I'd like to talk to you about your service
Of course he would. People here have determined that george kamburoff is a stolen valor liar. This cowardly psychopath seeks any opportunity to lie about his experience and education because he enjoys deluding people.

Engage at your own peril.
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2017
This is how nuclear goes wrong: lack of oversight and legal constraint.

People who tend nuclear reactors should be as disciplined as people who tend weapons of war. Or dams. Or mass transit.

And for all the same reasons.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 20, 2017
lack of oversight and legal constraint.
Coal, oil and fracking cause much more fatalities, but no problem as they serve as backup for intermittent renewables.
Faux-greens and their double standards.
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2017
Please replace this with a meaningful measure. Sievert is the unit for biologically effective dose. A robot is not a biological entity. Gray would be an appropriate unit.


The Sievert measures the effective absorbed energy per mass, or Joules per kg. It is the same unit as Gray, except it has different weights for different types of radiation.For x-rays, gamma, beta radiation Gray and Sievert are equal in magnitude.

This is also why they use Sieverts instead of Gray - Gray measures the applied dose and Sievert measures the absorbed dose. You can shower the robot in alpha radiation and its absorbed dose would be zero because it won't penetrate its metal shell.

So when they say the robot withstands 1,000 Sieverts, it can absorb 1000 Joules of energy from the radiation to its circuitry before something is expected to break. Of course, 1000 Joules of energy applied on some structural part won't do much anything except warm it up slightly.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 24, 2017
Unless it is one of your "structural parts".
Eikka
5 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2017
"If 100 people get a sudden dose of 350 rems of radiation, about 3.5 sieverts, then about half of them will die in 60 days."


That's bullcrap. The mortality rate for acute radiation syndrome for doses between 2-6 Sv have a mortality rate ranging from 5 - 95% when untreated, and 5-50% when treated.

Assuming linear effect, about 4/5 people would survive a 3.5 Sv acute radiation dose with treatment, and would carry an additional 17% increase in lifetime risk of cancer.

Unless it is one of your "structural parts".


The analog to a structural part of a robot in people would be dry bone, so no, it wouldn't do much different. The point is moot though because you're not crawling in there under 650 Sv/h radiation - the robot is.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Feb 24, 2017
People who tend nuclear reactors should be as disciplined as people who tend weapons of war. Or dams. Or mass transit.


That's not a very high standard. If nuclear power was run the same as dams we'd have a meltdown somewhere around the world every year.

Every year some dozen people die because of a burst dam. Every few decades there's a big burst and hundreds or thousands die. The worst incident in 1975 at Banqiao Dam, China, was estimated to claim 171,000 lives.

It doesn't make very much difference whether a city is lost to a raging torrent than to a nuclear accident, because it will still take 60 years and hundreds of billions to clean up and rebuild - yet you don't find many people marching against hydroelectric dams with the same zeal as they march against nuclear power.

gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 24, 2017
To what future do these examples point?

http://www.ecowat...79.html?

http://www.utilit.../436832/

Looks like a future of renewable resources to me.
SiaoX
3 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2017
That's not a very high standard. If nuclear power was run the same as dams we'd have a meltdown somewhere around the world every year.
This is misleading comparison. The problem with nuclear accidents is, they decrease life expectancy rather than killing people instantly in well defined numbers. In addition, the scope of these accidents is difficult to measure both in time, both in space - as their consequences span multiple countries. If 171,000 people would die at place, it will be indeed a huge catastrophe. If 17,100,000 of people will die by one year earlier, no one will even notice it.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Feb 24, 2017
Meanwhile, our PV system provides power for the house and car for us, and it is clean. It pays back in four years. How long for Fukushima to "pay back"?
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Feb 24, 2017
And more, . . .

http://news.xinhu...0119.htm

"Smoke billowing" from Japan nuclear plant — Possible fire reported near reactors — TEPCO "has not identified the cause of the incident"
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2017
...decrease life expectancy... the scope of these accidents is difficult to measure both in time, both in space...
"The leukemia incidence of 96,000 Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors is compelling evidence that the LNT model is wrong."
https://pbs.twimg...aw-Q.jpg
https://atomicins...icol.pdf
"The rise of LNT theory was really the result of a political motivation by a group of radiation geneticists."
http://thebreakth...too-much
https://phys.org/...ogy.html
"LNT is a leftover Cold War ideology that states all radiation is bad, even the background radiation we are bathed in every day"
"it has become an ideology "ruled by hysteria and fueled by ignorance" "
http://www.forbes...kushima/
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 24, 2017
One thousand Sieverts, Willie!

How long would you last?
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2017
"Smoke billowing" from Japan nuclear plant — Possible fire reported near reactors — TEPCO "has not identified the cause of the incident"
Good scaremongering stuff, gskam, shut down them all and replace by intermittent wind/solar placebo backed up by coal and/or gas/fracking, the fossil fuel industry is very proud of you.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 24, 2017
Does the cost of $190,000,000,000 not scare you? What did it do to our opportunities to develop and build good power systems?

What kind of clean power system could we build for that kind of money, instead of wasting it trying to survive your nuclear disasters?
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2017
It's better to revive the coal industry as the Eco-nuts did in Germany. Fossil fuels kill millions of people each year, while no one has died by radiation exposure at Fukushima power plant, but who cares? If it is serving as pretext to impose intermittent bird-choppers/landscape-destroyers almost for free subsidized with taxpayers' hard-earned money.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 24, 2017
Willie, for the cost of $190,000,000,000, they could re-invent their entire power system.
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (4) Feb 24, 2017
People who tend nuclear reactors should be as disciplined as people who tend weapons of war. Or dams. Or mass transit.


That's not a very high standard.
It appears to be higher than the standard that Tepco executives adhered to. And the guys at Chernobyl. There are plenty more examples.
timetogo2
Mar 06, 2017
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