A remotely-controlled robot sent to inspect and clean a damaged reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant had to be pulled early when its onboard camera went dark, the result of excess radiation. The abbreviated mission suggests that radiation levels inside the reactor are even higher than was reported last week — and that robots are going to have a hell of a time cleaning this mess up.
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Image Cache: Since March 2011, a 50km radius around the ruined Fukushima Daiichi reactor has been a designated exclusion zone, unsafe to travel. Over 100,000 evacuees left in a hurry and left behind a snapshot of what life looked like in the moments just before they fled. A brave soul recently snuck in to photograph the apocalyptic scene today.
Five years ago, a 9.0 undersea earthquake shook Japan. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the country, and it was followed by devastating tsunami waves, killing 15,894 people. The tsunami caused level 7 meltdowns at three reactors in the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, resulting in the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl explosion.
After two years without any nuclear power in response to the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis, Japan has restarted its first reactor, Sendai 1.
When the 2011 earthquake in Japan damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant, teams scrambled to find a robot that could go where humans couldn't. In many ways those robots failed, and ever since, there has been a focus on creating robots that can get the job done. Enter Toshiba's "Scorpion" robot, which will make its way inside the power plant this August.
A mere 20km from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will soon sit a 190m, 1360-tonne windmill atop a 4500-tonne podium. It will be the biggest floating wind turbine on Earth, and it could usher in a new age of green energy for a region largely fed up with nuclear energy.
Fukushima is Japan's radiation nightmare that just won't go away. Ever since March 2011, the damaged plant has been riddled with leaks and cleanup setbacks. Now Tepco, the operator of the damaged facility, says they have recorded spikes between 50-70 times above average readings in the gutters that pour water into a nearby bay.
People do some pretty dumb things for YouTube videos. Derek Muller does them for the sake of science, though. The host of Veritasium, a YouTube channel about science, recently visited the most radioactive places on Earth for a TV show about how Uranium and radioactivity affected the modern world. And he lived to tell about it.