It is possible to relate differently to the fact that robots are increasingly replacing people in different types of work. However, hardly anyone will argue with the fact that in places of emergency situations and man-made disasters the use of robotic mechanisms is more than justified. And here is one of the joint developments of the Japanese company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the International Research Institute for decommissioning of nuclear power plants is aimed at creating a new type of robot that will be able to carry out dangerous work to remove the fuel rods melted after the accident in 2011 from the nuclear power plant “Fukushima -1”.
The initiator of such an approach is the company-owner of the infamous nuclear power plant Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO). She plans to begin removing hazardous materials as early as 2021. The robot itself will be controlled remotely and will be a device of about 7 meters long and weighing 3.5 tons. The design itself will resemble the trunk of an elephant with six moving elements, at the end of which there will be a peculiar suction cup for collecting the melted fuel. In this case, the robot will move very slowly (its speed will not exceed 5 cm per second) in order to ensure maximum accuracy when collecting hazardous materials. To deliver the robot will be laid special rails to the sealed storage. The electronics used in the robot design are resistant to high radiation doses, which will allow using it for a long time.
Despite the fact that the works are planned for 2021, they can be postponed because first of all it is necessary to establish the exact location of dangerous molten nuclear fuel. To detect it, special robots with cameras and sensors for measuring radiation are already being used. As soon as the location of all nuclear wastes is revealed, experts will begin to plan the launch and build a route for the robot’s movement.