Skip to main content

Robots at Fukushima

packbot What everyone’s been waiting for: Robots:

A U.S.-made robot built for bomb disposal were set to make its way into a reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Sunday to find out whether conditions were safe enough for workers to begin badly needed measures to put the crippled plant under control.

And it’s been busy with other duties, too.

The robot, measuring 70 centimeters long and 53 centimeters wide, has already been used at the Fukushima plant to remove highly-radioactive rubble, that had resulted from the explosions at the reactor buildings.

Made by iRobot, here is the product description for the 510 Packbot, the model being used in Japan:

Modular, adaptable and expandable, 510 PackBot is a tactical mobile robot that performs multiple missions while keeping warfighters and first responders out of harm’s way.

  • Bomb Disposal / EOD (IEDs / VBIEDs / UXO)
  • Surveillance / Reconnaissance
  • Checkpoints / Inspections / Explosives Detection
  • Route Clearance
  • Explosive Hazard Identification (IEDs / VBIEDs / UXOs)
  • Hazardous Materials Detection

More than 3,000 PackBot robots have been delivered to military and civil defense forces worldwide.

So maybe the Japan Self-Defense Force had a few of these around. You can see how it would be useful in this situation. All but one of the robots seem primarily designed to keep soldiers out of harm’s way by engaging in surveillance and toting loads over distances.

And that one robot otherwise deployed? It’s called the Scooba and washes floors. Well, if you’ve got the talent for building robots …

---

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has redesigned its site, no longer summoning memories of the information superhighway and Adobe PageMill. Information is more accessible – always a plus when there is a lot of it – and it’s altogether more pleasant to visit. The home page is a little crowded but that’s a niggle – it’s so much improved there’s really no comparison.

I’m not absolutely sure what the Packbot is doing here, but I would probably just let it do it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…