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Robots enter Fukushima reactors

posted 21 Apr 2011, 09:56 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 21 Apr 2011, 09:59 ]
Remote controlled robots enter Fukushima reactor buildings to measure radiation levels
JAPAN-NUCLEAR REACTORS - Striking images taken by robots inside Fukushima stricken's nuclear plant were released on Wednesday by the Tokyo Electric Power Company or TEPCO.

The video was taken by remote-controlled robots known as Packbot, sent to reactor buildings 1-3 to take radiation readings.

Two packbots worked in tandem to explore the damaged buildings, using an externally mounted radiation

monitor to take readings from inside.

While the robots were able to measure radiations levels inside reactors 1 and 3, the extremely high humidity in reactor 2 fogged up their lenses and hindered a reading.

Workers are continuing to pump water into the stricken plant to cool the reactors.

 NUCLEAR AND INDUSTRY SAFETY AGENCY DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL HIDEHIKO NISHIYAMA, SAYING:

"We are still in the continuing state of not being completely certain where the water is. But since it's necessary to jeep the fuel cool, it is necessary to continue pumping in water. That of course contributes the current state of water building up."

Packbots' capabilities include maneuvering through buildings, taking images, measuring radiation levels - and opening doors.

This is not the first time robots have been used after a nuclear disaster.

They were also used at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl and will almost certainly continue to be used at Fukushima in highly radioactive areas.

Sunita Rappai, Reuters

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