Toshiba Corp. unveiled a remote-controlled robotic with tongs that it hopes will have the ability to probe the within of one of many three broken reactors at Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant and grip chunks of extremely radioactive melted gas.
The gadget is designed to slip down an extendable 11-meter (36-foot) lengthy pipe and contact melted gas inside reactor 2’s main containment vessel. The reactor was constructed by Toshiba and GE.
An earlier probe carrying a digital camera captured photographs of items of melted gas within the reactor final 12 months, and robotic probes within the two different reactors have detected traces of broken gas, however the precise location, contents and different particulars stay largely unknown.
Toshiba’s vitality programs unit stated experiments with the brand new probe deliberate in February are key to figuring out the right tools and applied sciences wanted to take away the gas particles, essentially the most difficult a part of the decommissioning course of anticipated to take a long time.
The three reactors on the Fukushima plant suffered core meltdowns after an enormous 2011 earthquake and tsunami broken key cooling programs.
In final 12 months’s probe, a digital camera developed by Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp. and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning discovered massive quantities of deposits in that space, together with elements that resembled pebbles or gravel.
The 30-cm (12-inch) lengthy robotic unveiled Monday will carry a radiation dosimeter, thermometer, LED lights, a digital camera and a pair of tongs because it slowly slides down from a pipe. The probe, hooked up by a cable on its again, is to dangle from the pipe and descend to the underside of the reactor vessel’s pedestal, a construction instantly under the core from which the melted gas fell.
Toshiba plans to make use of the brand new gadget to the touch and grip the deposits with the tongs, which might maintain a lump as broad as eight cm (three inches) weighing as much as 2 kg (four.four kilos), to research its hardness and different particulars, stated Jun Suzuki, a Toshiba ESS group supervisor for the venture.
The probe will primarily study the gas particles’ bodily situation reasonably than its radioactive elements or different particulars which require precise sampling and protected storage. (Source and picture: Japan Times)
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