Japan has taken up the initiative of cleaning up the Fukushima nuclear reactor using “Scorpion robot”. The robot was sent to the Unit 2 reactor of the vessel according to the operator of the plant Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) for identifying the place where the meltdown occurred. But the robot could not climb the radioactive debris.
The robot was designed such that it carried two small cameras, dosimeter, and a thermometer in order to transmit data and images. The robot, however, could not locate the melted fuel which could provide a source of how to remove the debris from the reactor. Due to the nonfunctioning, it was abandoned in the vessel and later an examination revealed that the radiations had damaged the robot. A new tiny waterproof robot has been designed to be sent into the Unit 1 whereas a robot for the fully damaged Unit 3 has to be still designed.
TEPCO has to know the exact location of the melted fuel and extent of damage in order to find a solution to remove the debris from the reactor vessels. Even though the probe mission has been abandoned, TEPCO still plans to continue its work of cleaning the nuclear reactor from 2021. The residents in Fukushima are still struggling with the radiation emitted from the plant followed by tsunami and earthquake. The Scorpion robot also gave up midway as cameras stopped functioning due to the maximum radiation exposure of about 1000 Sievert, which is more than the 100 Sievert per hour limit of the robot.
Therefore, the scientists are still trying to develop a radiation-resistant robot. Is it really possible to build such robot?