Thursday, February 21, 2013
Robots Are A Go For Fukushima Plant Decommissioning
TOKYO (Nikkei)--A legion of robots developed for decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were unveiled Wednesday by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry-affiliated body for promoting national projects.
- A robot with a radiation camera climbs up steep stairs.
Hitachi Ltd. (6501) and the Chiba Institute of Technology each came up with a small robot equipped with a radiation camera. The robots can climb up and down narrow, steep stairs.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011) showed off its robot by having it open a valve located 8 meters above the floor with its folding arm.
Toshiba Corp.'s (6502) amphibious robot can reach sections of the plant that are submerged under contaminated water.
These machines support a common communications standard to make it possible for them to help each other coordinate tasks.
The companies aim to pitch their robots to Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) for decommissioning work at the utility's damaged nuclear plant.
"We will overcome hurdles of different organizations and work together to help dismantle and decommission reactors," NEDO Chairman Kazuo Furukawa said.
(The Nikkei, Feb. 21 morning edition)