Pressure-washer robot to aid Fukushima decontamination

March 09, 2013

By KAZUMI TAKO/ Staff Writer

A new robot that delivers an extremely high-pressure jet of water will soon join the decontamination effort at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Workers need to sluice down the walls and floors of buildings before they can safely work inside, and the robot's arm would allow operators to direct a jet of water up to 2 meters in height, developer Hitachi Ltd. said.

The company said the water is under such high pressure it can remove paint or even the surface of concrete.

The robot, named "Arounder," was shown to the media on March 8.

Operators will control it remotely, using six cameras to monitor its progress. The operators will be located at least 75 meters away.

And with regard to one enduring problem at the plant--vast quantities of radioactive water--Hitachi said the robot will suck back up almost all the water it uses, leaving little on site and making it easier to deal with the contaminated material it collects.

Its tanks will hold enough water to clean up to 5 square meters at a time.

The robot is expected to be deployed at the nuclear plant in the summer.

By KAZUMI TAKO/ Staff Writer
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Decontamination robot "Arounder" can deliver high-pressure jets of water in locations where radiation makes it hazardous for humans to work. (The Asahi Shimbun)

Decontamination robot "Arounder" can deliver high-pressure jets of water in locations where radiation makes it hazardous for humans to work. (The Asahi Shimbun)

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  • Decontamination robot "Arounder" can deliver high-pressure jets of water in locations where radiation makes it hazardous for humans to work. (The Asahi Shimbun)

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