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Myth of nuclear safety sets back robotic research and development via The Japan Times

On March 17, six days after the crisis erupted at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, a list was presented to Washington through diplomatic channels seeking U.S. assistance.


News photo
Packman: A PackBot, U.S.-made remote-controlled machine, opens a door to the main reactor building of unit 2 at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant on April 18.KYODO/TEPCO


Headlining the list was a request for robots — specifically, ones that could remove wreckage and measure radioactivity levels — as well as devices to inject water into the plant’s reactors.

The list was compiled after consultations with Tokyo Electric Power Co., the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and other ministries and agencies.

“It was like a list asking the United States for a favor. It was the result of their realization that they could not deal with the crisis on their own,” a Foreign Ministry source said.

Since then, countermeasures using foreign technological assistance have been initiated.


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