Robots sent into Fukushima have passed away

The time we all feared has finally arrived, the robots that were sent to the site where the Fukushima meltdown occurred have ‘died’. After the nuclear disaster in 2011, the nuclear plant became so radioactive that in various locations, it was impossible to send humans to clean them up. This is where the robots come in. The job had just started this January and after just 2 months, it has come to a complete halt.

The robots sent were controlled remotely to help in cleaning up the affected areas. However, after exposure to a lot of radiation themselves, the wiring in the robots have been damaged beyond repair. What makes this piece of news very difficult to take in is the fact that these robots take years to make.

When they are ready, the robots will be able to swim through the tunnels of the nuclear plant’s cooling pools which are located underground. While doing this, the robots will also be able to pull out the fuel rods of the reactor. There are hundreds of these rods so this job was always going to take a very long time to complete.

“Efforts to clean up Fukushima, which is considered the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident in 1986, are under continued scrutiny after a series of blunders and Tepco’s admission that efforts in the short term to contain contamination may take as long as 30-40 years,” said Peter Dockrill back in January when the work first started.

Only 10 percent of the plant has been cleaned up so far and at this rate, it looks like it will take even longer than expected to completely clean up the area.

“It is extremely difficult to access the inside of the nuclear plant,” said Naohiro Masuda, who is Tepco’s head of decommissioning, “The biggest obstacle is the radiation.”

 

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