In March 2011, the catastrophic accident known as "The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster" took place, initiated by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The only nuclear accident to receive a Level-7 classification on the International Nuclear Event Scale since the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986, the Fukushima event triggered global concerns and rumors regarding radiation leaks. Among the false rumors was an image, which had been described as a map of radioactive discharge emanating into the Pacific Ocean, as illustrated in the accompanying figure. In fact, this figure, depicting the wave height of the tsunami that followed, still to this date circulates on social media with the inaccurate description. Social media is ideal for spreading rumors, because it lacks censorship.
A plan to remove fuel debris from the primary containment vessel of a reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is expected to be further pushed back after it became apparent that Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Ltd. will not be able to conduct an internal probe -- a key step to start removing the fuel debris -- by the end of March as planned. The internal probe would involve using remote-controlled robots to collect fuel debris inside the No. 1 reactor so Tepco can examine its composition and form. Tepco's plan is to open three holes in both the outer and inner doors of the primary containment vessel using pressurized water mixed with a polishing agent. After it succeeded in opening three holes in the outer door, Tepco started drilling a hole in the inner door in June 2019. But that procedure caused the concentration of radioactive dust to increase temporarily, prompting staff to suspend work.
Wildlife is flourishing in the exclusion zone around the disabled Fukushima Daichii nuclear reactor in Japan, images from remotely-operated cameras have revealed. Researchers spotted more than 20 species in areas around the reactor, including wild boar, macaques and fox-like raccoon dogs. The findings help reveal how wildlife populations respond in the wake of catastrophic nuclear disaster like those that occurred at Fukushima and Chernobyl. Humans were evacuated from certain zones around the the Fukushima reactor following radiation leaks caused by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Wildlife ecologist James Beasley of the University of Georgia, in the US, and colleagues used a network of 106 remote cameras to capture images of the wildlife in the area around the Fukushima Daiichi power plant over a four-month period.
Farmland in Fukushima that was rendered unusable after the disastrous 2011 nuclear meltdown is getting a second chance at productivity. A group of Japanese investors have created a new plan to use the abandoned land to build wind and solar power plants, to be used to send electricity to Tokyo. The plan calls for the construction of eleven solar power plants and ten wind power plants, at an estimated cost of $2.75 billion. Fukushima has been aggressively converting land damaged by the 2011 meltdown, such as this golf course (pictured above) into a source of renewable energy. A new $2.75 billion plan will add eleven new solar plants and ten wind power plants to former farmland The project is expected to be completed in March of 2024 and is backed by a group of investors, including Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank.
Being virtually hooked up to a human could help robots respond to disasters or other situations that would put human responders' lives at risks. The researchers say that a system like this could be used to help in robotic clean-up operations such as the one after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan in 2011. Humans could have guided robots to navigate around the site more accurately, from a safe distance. And while there's currently no machine learning involved in the process, Ramos believes the data captured from the system could be used to help train autonomous robots.
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Japan has told the United States it is ready to provide its robot technology for use in dismantling nuclear and uranium enrichment facilities in North Korea as Washington and Pyongyang pursue further denuclearization talks, government sources said Friday. As Japan turns to the remotely controlled robots it has developed to decommission reactors crippled by the triple core meltdown in 2011 at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, it believes the same technology can be used in North Korea, according to the sources. The offer is part of Japan's efforts to make its own contribution to the denuclearization talks amid concern that Tokyo could be left out of the loop as the United States and North Korea step up diplomacy. Tokyo has already told Washington it would shoulder part of the costs of any International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of North Korean facilities and dispatch its own nuclear experts to help. The scrapping of nuclear facilities, such as the Yongbyon complex, which has a graphite-moderated reactor, will come into focus in forthcoming working-level talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
We argue that pushing is an essential motion primitive in a robot's manipulative repertoire. Consider, for instance, a household robot reaching for a bottle of milk located in the back of the fridge. Instead of picking up every yoghurt, egg carton, or jam jar obstructing the path to create space, the robot can use gentle pushes to create a corridor to its lactic target. Moving larger obstacles out of the way is even more important to mobile robots in environments as extreme as abandoned mines (Ferguson et al., 2004), the moon (King, 2016), or for rescue missions as for the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In order to save cost, space, or reduce payload, such robots are often not equipped with grippers, meaning that prehensile manipulation is not an option. Even in the presence of grippers, objects may be too large or too heavy to grasp. In addition to the considered scenarios, pushing has numerous beneficial applications that come to mind less easily. For instance, pushing is effective at manipulating objects under uncertainty (Brost, 1988; Dogar and Srinivasa, 2010), and for pre-grasp manipulation, allowing robots to bring objects into configurations where they can be easily grasped (King et al., 2013). Less existential, yet highly interesting and entertaining, dexterous pushing skills are also widely applied and applauded in robot soccer (Emery and Balch, 2001).
The operator of the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant began removing fuel Monday from a cooling pool at one of three reactors that melted down in the 2011 disaster, a milestone in what will be a decades-long process to decommission the facility. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said workers started removing the first of 566 used and unused fuel units stored in the pool at Unit 3. The fuel units in the pool located high up in reactor buildings are intact despite the disaster, but the pools are not enclosed, so removing the units to safer ground is crucial to avoid disaster in case of another major earthquake similar to the one that caused the 2011 tsunami. TEPCO says the removal at Unit 3 will take two years, followed by the two other reactors, where about 1,000 fuel units remain in the storage pools. Removing fuel units from the cooling pools comes ahead of the real challenge of removing melted fuel from inside the reactors, but details of how that might be done are still largely unknown. Removing the fuel in the cooling pools was delayed more than four years by mishaps, high radiation and radioactive debris from an explosion that occurred at the time of the reactor meltdowns, underscoring the difficulties that remain.
The operator of the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant has begun removing fuel from a cooling pool at one of three reactors that melted down in the 2011 disaster, a milestone in the decades-long process to decommission the plant. Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) said on Monday that workers started removing the first of 566 used and unused fuel units stored in the pool at Unit 3. The fuel units in the pool located high up in reactor buildings are intact despite the disaster, but the pools are not enclosed so removing the units to safer ground is crucial to avoid disaster in case of another major quake. Tepco said the removal at Unit 3 would take two years, followed by the two other reactors. The step comes ahead of the real challenge of removing melted fuel from inside the reactors, but details of how that might be done are still largely unknown. Removing the fuel in the cooling pools was delayed five years by mishaps, high radiation and radioactive debris from an explosion that occurred at the time of the reactor meltdown, underscoring the difficulties that remain.