Workers struggling to contain the leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan have only a few robots that are able to get deep inside the highly radioactive reactor buildings and piloting them has been very difficult, according to a blog written by one of the workers and republished by IEEE Spectrum.
The postings, written by an author who goes by the initials S.H., began appearing after the March 11 quake and tsunamis that knocked out the plant and ran through July. Many of them detail training sessions, as seen in the associated video compilation below. The blog was deleted last month when word of it spread in Japan, but it has also appeared on the site of AIST, a government-backed research center.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) hired contractors, including S.H.'s employer, to help bring the plant to a cold shutdown in January, but the postings paint a picture of an inadequately equipped robot response to the catastrophe. Observers, including your humble correspondent, have wondered why robot-mad Japan wasn't prepared for a major nuclear accident like Fukushima. … Read more