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More on Robots

2011-03-17 17:58:20.996198+00 by ebradway 2 comments

Colin Peters tweeted:

Sure, they have robots to blow up people in Pakistan, but not one single radiation-proof firefighter robot to fill up a cooling pool.

I've been wondering about the noticeable lack of robots a the power plant from the beginning. I mean, if BP can live stream an oil well a mile below the Gulf of Mexico, can't someone in Japan duct tape a cell phone to an Aibo and send it in so we can actually see what's happening in these pools?

[ related topics: Wireless Robotics Nuclear Disaster ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-03-17 20:17:53.136829+00 by: Dan Lyke

Here's a rundown of some of Japan's history with nuclear power safety, and it doesn't even appear to mention the cover-up following the Monju reactor's liquid sodium leak.

Note: This is Japan we're talking about here, "continuous improvement", "process measurement", bla bla bla. It looks an awful lot like the nuclear industry there is way the hell out of control, self-"regulating", and generally not to be trusted.

Figuring out whether our heavily "regulated" utility industries have similar motivations and forces acting on them are left as an exercise for the reader...

#Comment Re: made: 2011-03-17 19:25:10.63912+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

Reuters has even been asking the same question:

Kim Seungho, a nuclear official who engineered robots for South Korea's atomic power plants, said: "You have to design emergency robots for plants when they are being built so they can navigate corridors, steps and close valves."

So let me get this right... In the land of sushi, anime and robots, there are a couple nuclear reactors sited in the area where virtually all significant earthquakes in recorded history have occurred. And those reactors are so old, they didn't build robots to service them. You would think someone would have said "This is exactly the right place to build robots."

But Kim Seungho, in that Reuter piece, demonstrated classic hubris:

"Nuclear plant operators don't liked to think about serious situations that are beyond human control," he said by telephone.