US Sending Robots to Fukushima

Radiation-hardened robots to assist at stricken plant

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 30, 2011 1:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Energy Department is sending a squad of robots—and people—to help Japan in its battle to regain control of its Fukushima nuclear plant. A shipment of "radiation hardened robotics" is being sent to Japan along with 40 people and thousands of pounds of other equipment, a top department official told a Senate panel yesterday, AP reports.

"The government of Japan is very, very interested in the capabilities that could be brought to bear from this country," the official said. The department has developed remotely operated robots to clean up nuclear sites. The machines are capable of operating in areas of the plant where radiation levels would quickly kill any human, and will be used to help experts view damage to the reactor core.

Workers are seen in the control room of the Unit 2 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.   (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News)
Workers in radiation protection suits prepare for the decontamination of two nuclear plant workers who were exposed to high levels of radiation at the Fukushima plant.   (Getty Images)
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