Six workers were exposed to excessive radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Saturday as a mile-long power line was connected to Reactor No. 2 in an effort to restore power to its cooling system. Crews hope to restart the system Sunday, The New York Times reported, but meanwhile observers have been speculating how many robots authorities have deployed to keep people out of harm's way.
The answer, apparently, is zero.
"I don't know that we have any such devices," said Hiro Hasegawa, a spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), when asked whether robots were being used at Daiichi, which was struck by a tsunami following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake March 11.
It's surprising that Japan, long considered a technological powerhouse, has had to resort to such rudimentary methods of cooling the plant's reactors as water-bombing them with lead-lined helicopters.
Tepco apparently never imagined a situation in which the main and backup power to the coastal plant would be knocked out, despite the fact that Japan is one of the most quake-prone countries in the world, sitting atop a number of shifting tectonic plates. … Read more