The Japanese government is going to start dismantling parts of the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant from 2017 and the process is going to start with the removal of more than 500 fuel rods from the crippled number 3 reactor. Instead of sending humans into a reactor contaminated with nuclear radiation, which would be akin to sending them off to a certain death, a robot developed by Toshiba will be used to effectively carry out the task without having to resort to risking human life.

Toshiba has demonstrated what this remote controlled robot is capable of doing with regards to the situation at Fukushima, the robot will remain on the surface of the cooling pool from where it will pick up damaged fuels rods. A third arm will then cut the rods to make them more manageable for the robot to stack and remove.

Engineers at Toshiba believe that when these damaged fuel rods are removed the amount of radiation in reactor 3 should start coming down to 1 millisievert per hour, which is still too much for humans to be exposed to for longer periods of time, but nonetheless an improvement over existing conditions.

Toshiba has played a major role in helping the government deal with the Fukushima situation. It came out with a mechanized quadruped in 2012 which was primarily designed to be used as a forward scout in repair efforts following the Fukushima meltdown.

Filed in Robots. Read more about Toshiba. Source: japantimes.co.jp

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