Don't Fire Up Nuclear Plants Without Robots
William Saletan: They must be resistant to radiation and ready to go
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2011 1:51 PM CDT
A fire engine sprays water toward reactor No. 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex.   (AP Photo/Japan Defense Ministry)

(Newser) – An easy first lesson is emerging from Japan's nuclear mess: No nuclear reactors should be in operation anywhere unless they have robots ready to fend off disaster, writes William Saletan in Slate. He's not talking about run-of-the-mill robots that replace humans at menial tasks. He means expensive, radiation-resistant robots that can get close to out-of-control reactors to help cool them down.

Fukushima Dai-ichi had none of these and has had to pull out human workers repeatedly, raising the risk of a meltdown. "This is crazy," he writes. "Robots have to be available within hours, hardened to radiation, and equipped to help." From here on out, this should be a no-brainer: No reactor gets fired up unless the right robots are standing by.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Mar 22, 2011 4:40 PM CDT
Good idea. Until they decide to take over.
Mar 22, 2011 4:12 PM CDT
I don't suggest doing anything without a robot present.
Mar 22, 2011 2:08 PM CDT
theres a huge typo in your article John. There should be a period after the 18th word and the rest discarded.