While the Fukushima Daiichi disaster is having a profound impact on Japan’s economy, with over 1,100 companies filing bankruptcy for disaster-related reasons in the last two years, but some companies are working to meet new demands at Fukushima Daiichi for robots which can work in areas still too contaminated for workers to remain in for too long. Toshiba’s latest design employed dry ice granules to decontaminate surfaces, but questions have been raised about its capacity and limited time for operation.
GE Hitachi’s latest robot was developed with funds from a government subsidy, and blasts radioactive materials from wall and floor surfaces with highly pressurized streams of water. The jet arm is also equipped with a system for recovering some of the substances removed with suction. Hitachi is hoping that TEPCO elects to use the robot this summer to decontaminate areas in the reactor buildings for workers to enter, but it can only decontaminate some 1 square meter of surface area per hour, for four hours a day.
Source: JiJi Press