Latest in Gear

Image credit: KYODO Kyodo / Reuters

Robot probe no. 2 dies while exploring a Fukushima reactor

Both machines sent to assess the nuclear reactor's situation failed to complete their mission.
3537 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

KYODO Kyodo / Reuters

The second robot Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) sent into Fukushima's unit 2 reactor also failed to finish its mission. Earlier this month, the cameras of the first "scorpion" robot that ventured into the reactor malfunctioned after two hours due to extremely high radiation levels. Now, it's the machine's left crawler belt that stopped working (PDF) altogether, forcing TEPCO to cut off its tether and to leave it inside.

Toshiba designed these scorpions specifically to examine Unit 2's condition and to locate the melted uranium fuel within. The information would help Tepco figure out the best and safest way to clean the fuel up. if you're wondering, these machines are called "scorpions" because, with their camera-equipped tails above their bodies, they look quite like the arachnid:

The power company still isn't sure whether the robot's crawler belt stopped working due to the radiation levels inside or due to all the debris the first machine wasn't able to clear. It managed to send some data back, though, and TEPCO plans to evaluate whatever information it got.

Every little thing will help, after all, since the company chose to stick to its cleanup schedule even though both exploration missions failed. It will begin conjuring up plans for fuel removal this summer and will start the actual cleanup process in 2021. But before that, TEPCO will send a tiny underwater robot to explore the Unit 1 reactor in the next few weeks -- we'll let you know how that one fares, as well.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
3537 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Scoot makes its new single-seat mopeds available in Los Angeles

Scoot makes its new single-seat mopeds available in Los Angeles

View
Facebook's version of political neutrality isn't neutral

Facebook's version of political neutrality isn't neutral

View
Firefox update adds detailed tracking reports and password tools

Firefox update adds detailed tracking reports and password tools

View
AT&T offers the LG G8X with a 'free' Dual Screen case (updated)

AT&T offers the LG G8X with a 'free' Dual Screen case (updated)

View
A machine-learning system may have predicted the World Series winner

A machine-learning system may have predicted the World Series winner

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr