Tokyo Electric Power to use robots to assess damage in Fukushima nuclear plant

9 February 2015 (Last Updated February 9th, 2015 18:30)

Tokyo Electric Power is soon to use a remote controlled robot for testing the damaged reactor cores at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan.

Tokyo Electric Power is soon to use a remote controlled robot for testing the damaged reactor cores at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan.

The snake-like robot will use cosmic rays called ‘muons’ to gather necessary information from the nuclear reactors, which were subject to the disaster caused by earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Deployment of the robot will enable thorough assessment of the reactor chambers, which was not possible u[p until now due to the fatal radiation levels.

Fuel debris from units 1, 2, and 3 at the facility will be removed under the Fukushima Daiichi decontaminating and decommissioning project.

"Innovation and cooperation from external experts is helping Tokyo Electric Power chief overcome challenges and make progress towards decommissioning."

Tokyo Electric Power chief decommissioning officer Naohiro Masuda said: "This is a great example of how the innovation and cooperation from external experts is helping us overcome challenges and make progress towards decommissioning.

"I hope that this will give us an opportunity to contribute to technological advancement and to share such progress with the rest of the world."

International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (IRID) has developed the robot in co-ordination with other domestic and foreign institutions.

The probe will initially be carried out in the unit 1 of the reactor, the findings from which is expected to be interpreted by March this year.

TEPCO is planning to carry out the second test for Unit 2 with a different variation of the muon technology in the coming months.