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08:14 AM, March 2, 2017
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Radiation Proof Robots To Repair Japanese Nuclear Facility
A "spider" robot is seen in Hiroshima (Image:Mainichi Shimbun)

A six-limbed spider robot will soon work in Japan’s Hiroshima to help decommission the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

The ‘muscle robots’ is part of the development project in a joint effort among Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd., Hiroshima-based equipment maker Chugai Technos Corp., and other firms and was unveiled on Feb.28, Mainichi Shimbun reported Thursday.

The companies are aiming to use the robots -- which are powered by water pressure and springs, and thus unlikely to be affected by radiation -- to crush and remove nuclear fuel that melted down six years ago. The companies have developed six types of robot so far.

The six-limbed "spider" robot can move around and transport objects. The robot is 2.8 meters long when the arms are fully extended, and the companies plan to give it the ability to hang from scaffolding and climb onto equipment.

Although surveys of the interior of the Fukushima plant reactors have been conducted, details on the state and location of the melted nuclear fuel remain sketchy. The "muscle robots" are still in their preliminary stages of development, and the companies say they will continue to tweak the devices to respond to the actual conditions inside the reactors as they become known.

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