Asahi Shimbun has announced that the Scorpion robot (aka: Sasori) will attempt to enter unit 2’s containment structure by the end of February 2017.
Earlier work with a scope camera discovered what was assumed to be a high radiation hot spot inside containment but in an unexpected location outside the reactor pedestal. Work that took place in the last week to introduce a cleaning robot in an attempt to clear a path for the Scorpion robot discovered the on board camera began to degrade due to a high radiation field. This was after about two hours inside containment and about 1 meter into the 5 meter cleaning route. Workers abruptly pulled the cleaning robot out of containment before it failed.
This left questions about the upcoming entry of Scorpion. IRID and TEPCO were undecided if they would send Scorpion in knowing it would likely fail after 2 hours or less and could end up stranded in containment. Now Asahi Shimbun is stating that Scorpion will go into containment. It could potentially be retrieved if high radiation readings begin to cause visual disturbance on the camera or if they determine via the on board radiation sensor that they need to retrieve the robot. Stranding a robot on the CRD rail would make future attempts to use the rail for inspection work problematic.
This effort could result in more detailed and accurate radiation readings that may help pinpoint the source of the radiation hot spot.
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