Second robot abandoned due to ‘extreme radiation’ in Fukushima nuclear plant
9news: February 20, 2017
Another robot sent to investigate the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has been abandoned after succumbing to extreme radiation levels.
The “Scorpion” robot, designed by the Tokyo Electric Power company (TEPCO), experienced catastrophic failure as it approached the core of reactor number two due to “unimaginable” radiation levels.
It is the second robot TEPCO has been forced to abandon inside the crippled plant, which suffered a catastrophic meltdown during an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2011, phys.org reports.
The advanced robot had been carrying two small cameras and other sensor equipment in an attempt to locate melted fuel cells inside the plant.
As it suffered the failure, it was moved to a position so as not to hinder future expeditions. It was then shut down and abandoned.
Earlier this month, TEPCO revealed the radiation level in the containment vessel of reactor two had reached more than of 530 sieverts per hour.
The “unimaginable” radiation levels were assessed by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS).
According to the NIRS, just 4 sieverts of radiation exposure would be enough to kill a handful of people.
Earlier this month, TEPCO sent in its first exploratory robot to clear debris out of the way for future missions. The robot’s cameras shut down when it exceeded its maximum tolerance of 1000 sieverts.
TEPCO has insisted it will continue to push forwards with missions to examine the crippled reactors one at a time, as pressure mounts from the public and government officials to officially decommission the plant – an endeavour the company is still unsure how to accomplish.
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