Thursday, October 20, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Robot Quince Found High Radiation on 5th Floor of Reactor 2, and Was Lost

Reactors 1 through 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant continue to have high radiation levels, too high for humans to work for any length of time effectively. The Japanese robot Quince entered the Reactor 2 building to survey the radiation and temperature on October 20.

Following is my quick report on the October 20 press conference (I watched the video).

Quince entered and measured radiation for the first time on the 3rd, 4th and 5th floor of the reactor building since the accident.

TEPCO's Matsumoto said that Reactor 3 had the highest radiation level (many spots exceeding 100 millisieverts/hour), Reactor 2 second, then Reactor 1.

In Reactor 2, the radiation was the highest on the 5th floor, near the reactor well. It was 250 millisieverts/hour. Matsumoto said the high radiation was probably the result of the gaseous leak from the Containment Vessel, which was seen in the video taken on September 17.

Matsumoto called the attention to the crane on the 5th floor, which was rusted due to exposure to radioactive steam from the reactor.

The main purpose of the survey by Quince this time was to check the 3rd floor, where they may have to enter in case of a trouble of the gas management system that they will install. In the diagram, the green patch on the upper left corner is where the flammable gas measurement system is located. If the gas management system doesn't work, they would need to open the valve of the system.

But for all the work, Quince got lost on the 5th floor. The communication from the robot was cut off all of a sudden, and they don't know where the robot is or what happened to the robot. Matsumoto said they would consult with the experts to figure out how to retrieve the robot in the high radiation environment. Human co-workers of Quince may have to go to the 5th floor.


nuckelchen said...

was quince powered by some batteries or by cable?
sounds like the same problem as the t-hawk runs out of e-power by radiation and smashed on the top.
better as a humen rescue of quince will be just to buy a new one..
i had taken the time last week as 2-3 workers were acting by reactor nr 1.
and my meaning is that three hours nonstop working there is too much for humens:

DD said...

The last picture is upside down: did the bot fall over?

Anonymous said...

a moment of silence for Quince


thank you for your sacrifice

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@nuckelchen, Quince is operated by cable. I think Matsumoto said when they straightened out the kinks in the cable on the 3rd floor, the communication with Quince went dead. They don't know if it's hardware or software. They can't buy a new Quince, as it was a prototype made by a university research group in Japan.

@DD, that's the correct orientation.

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