High tech equipment malfunctions in robots working at the Fukushima nuclear reactor could be due to extremely high levels of radiation interfering with equipment electronics. A wide array of electronics was also sent into to the Chernobyl disaster and did not last long at the plant.
TOKYO—Two high-tech machines intended to help workers at Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear plant malfunctioned Friday, including a long-awaited Japanese robot making its first attempt to take important measurements in areas too dangerous for humans.
The Quince robot trying to set up a gauge to measure the contaminated water pooling in the basement got stuck at a staircase landing and failed to go downstairs, TEPCO spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said.
The other machine that failed was a was a T-Hawk drone helicopter, made in the U.S. by Honeywell International Inc., that is used to inspect hard-to-access areas of the plant. The drone made an emergency landing on a reactor roof at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
While there is no official indication that the high tech equipment failures at the nuclear power plant is due to the high levels of radiation, it can not be ruled out and just may be the cause of the failures.
In fact it is reported that a wide array of electronics was sent into to the Chernobyl disaster and did not last long at the plant.
Source: NHK World & The Boston Globe @ alexanderhiggins.com | June, 2011