Robots at Japanese reactors detect high radiation
2011-04-18 0:00

From: CTV.ca / AP

Readings Monday from robots that entered two crippled buildings at Japanís tsunami-flooded nuclear plant for the first time in more than a month displayed a harsh environment still too radioactive for workers to enter.

Nuclear officials said the radiation data for Unit 1 and Unit 3 at the tsunami-flooded Fukushima Dai-ichi plant -- collected by U.S.-made robots that look like drafting lamps on treads -- do not alter plans for stabilizing the complex by yearís end under a "road map" released by the plant operator Sunday.


A remote-controlled Packbot from iRobot opens a door at a stricken reactor building at Tokyo Electric Powerís Fukushima Daiichi nucler-power complex. Tokyo Electric Power Co./Reuters

With the public growing increasingly frustrated at the slow response to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crises, parliament grilled Prime Minister Naoto Kan and officials from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.

"You should be bowing your head in apology. You clearly have no leadership at all," Masashi Waki, a lawmaker from the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, shouted at Kan.

"I am sincerely apologizing for what has happened," Kan said, stressing that the government was doing all it could to handle the unprecedented disasters.

TEPCOís president, Masataka Shimizu, looked visibly ill at ease as lawmakers heckled and taunted him.

Workers have not gone inside the two reactor buildings since the first days after the plantís cooling systems were wrecked by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Hydrogen explosions in both buildings in the first few days destroyed their roofs and littered them with radioactive debris.

But a pair of robots, called Packbots, haltingly entered the two buildings Sunday and took readings for temperature, pressure and radioactivity. More data must be collected and radioactivity must be further reduced before workers are allowed inside, said Hidehiko Nishiyama of Japanís Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

"Itís a harsh environment for humans to work inside," Nishiyama said.

Officials said the radiation findings should not hamper the goal of achieving a cold shutdown of the plant within six to nine months as laid out in a timetable TEPCO announced Sunday. Rather, the new information would help the company in figuring out how to push ahead with the plan.

"We have expected high radioactivity inside the reactor buildings, which was confirmed by data collected by the robot," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. "Even I had expected high radioactivity in those areas. Iím sure TEPCO and other experts have factored in those figures when they compiled the roadmap."

TEPCO official Takeshi Makigami said the robots must pave the way for workers to be able to re-enter the building.

"What robots can do is limited, so eventually, people must enter the buildings," Makigami said.

The robots were set to investigate Unit 2 later Monday.

As work continues inside the plant to reduce radiation levels and stem leaks into the sea, the Defense Ministry said it would send about 2,500 soldiers to join the hundreds of police, outfitted with protective suits, who are searching for bodies in tsunami debris around the plant.

Around 1,000 bodies are thought to be buried in the muddy piles of broken houses, cars and fishing boats. As of Sunday, searchers had located 66 bodies and recovered 63, police said.

The combined earthquake and tsunami have left more than 27,000 people dead or missing.

The robots being used inside the plant are made by Bedford, Massachusetts company iRobot. Traveling on miniature tank-like treads, the devices opened closed doors and explored the insides of the reactor buildings, coming back with radioactivity readings of up to 49 millisieverts per hour inside Unit 1 and up to 57 millisieverts per hour inside Unit 3.

The legal limit for nuclear workers was more than doubled since the crisis began to 250 millisieverts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends an evacuation after an incident releases 10 millisieverts of radiation, and workers in the U.S. nuclear industry are allowed an upper limit of 50 millisieverts per year. Doctors say radiation sickness sets in at 1,000 millisieverts and includes nausea and vomiting.

The robots, along with remote controlled miniature helicopters, have enabled TEPCO to photograph and take measurements of conditions in and around the plant while minimizing the workersí exposure to radiation and other hazards.

TEPCOís plan for ending the crisis, drawn up at the governmentís order, is meant to be a first step toward letting some of the tens of thousands of residents evacuated from the area around the companyís Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant return to their homes.


Article from: ctv.ca




Robots in Japanese Reactors Find High Radiation

Video from: YouTube.com



Scary frontier footage of Fukushima ruins, images of robots inside reactor - Raw

Video from: YouTube.com





Related Articles
Globalists Positioned to Exploit Japanís Tragedy
Melting of Japan plantís fuel rods confirmed
Japan raises nuke crisis severity to match Chernobyl
Where Humans Fear to Tread


Latest News from our Front Page

Galaxy Poll: 86 per cent of Australians want childhood vaccination to be compulsory?
2015-04-17 23:33
Australians want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make childhood vaccination compulsory and close loopholes that allow vaccine refusers to put all children at risk. An exclusive national Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed overwhelming support to ensure every child is vaccinated. The highest support for compulsory jabs is in South Australia, where 90 per cent support the call. The poll ...
Eye in the sky: Local police now using drones to spy on citizens
2015-04-17 22:09
The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office is doing something that no other agency in Harris County is believed to have done yet: Use drones to help fight crime. It's an eye in the sky for law enforcement, without giving up the element of surprise. "It could absolutely save lives," says Constable Alan Rosen. Rosen says the agency's two new $1,200 drones, which ...
New Zealander of the Year: refuse vaccines, lose money
2015-04-17 22:47
Following in the footsteps of Australia, 2014 New Zealander of the Year, Dr. Lance O’Sullivan, wants to punish people who don’t get vaccinated. The New Zealand Herald (4/15) reports: “A leading New Zealand doctor has called on the Government to follow Australia’s example to cut child welfare payments to families who do not vaccinate their children, saying the policy would help protect ...
Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away
2015-04-17 22:20
Police traffic stops are in the news again, tragically, sparking a new round of discussion on whether and how to outfit police with cameras and other technology. For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet. Like ...
Yes, You Can Catch Insanity
2015-04-17 22:29
One day in March 2010, Isak McCune started clearing his throat with a forceful, violent sound. The New Hampshire toddler was 3, with a Beatles mop of blonde hair and a cuddly, loving personality. His parents had no idea where the guttural tic came from. They figured it was springtime allergies. Soon after, Isak began to scream as if in pain ...
More News »