Jacobs Builds Robot to Solve Debris Riddle in Damaged Fukushima Reactor
Harnessing innovation to support complex nuclear cleanup
The remotely operated device will collect pebble-like debris that was deposited at the bottom of the reactor containment vessel after the meltdown caused by the earthquake and tsunami in
A prototype of the device has passed extremely demanding factory acceptance and performance tests to meet the requirements of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), which is leading the project to develop the tool. It is expected that, following selection in
"This is a prime example of how we are combining innovative engineering and deep nuclear knowledge to help decommissioning agencies meet the challenge of transforming legacy sites into a safe end state," said Jacobs Energy, Security & Technology Senior Vice President
The exact nature of the debris is currently unknown, and examination of the retrieved debris samples will provide crucial data for the next steps in the clean-up and decommissioning of the Fukushima reactors.
Designed by Jacobs' engineers in the
Trials have shown that a remote operator, guided by images from a built-in camera, will need no more than eight minutes to insert the device into the containment vessel and retrieve debris samples, thus minimizing the impact of radiation damage on the functioning of the device.
MHI implemented this project through the
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