Get the most out of Ro­bot­ics Business Review!

This is an article excerpt. Please register to view the entire article.
Learn more about membership benefits or join and become a member today!

Fukushima Fallout
Why Japan relied on foreign robotic technology when its nuclear crisis struck.
By Tim Hornyak

Two months after the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami devastated northern Japan, leaving some 26,000 people dead and causing apocalyptic damage, workers finally entered the reactor buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Crippled by the killer waves and subsequent hydrogen explosions, radiation fallout worries from the plant had eased somewhat. Nevertheless, a large area of Fukushima Prefecture surrounding the plant remained uninhabitable. Fears surrounding the contamination of local produce and seafood, as well as the stain on Japan’s public image, would likely linger for years.

For all these reasons, Japanese officials ranked the accident alongside the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Yet despite the fact that robots had played a role in alleviating the Chernobyl disaster and the earlier event at Three Mile Island, Japanese-made robots failed to make an appearance at the Fukushima site until weeks after the disaster began.

This is a preview article. Please register to view the entire article.

Get started
Create your membership.
Already a member?

No comments yet. Be the first to post a comment.



View comment guidelines

Remember me

Notify me of follow-up comments?

3D-Printed UAVs Complete Preliminary UK Trials

Parker Hannifin Moves Forward with Indego Exoskeleton

Modular Robotics: A Scrappy Approach to Educational Robots

Factory Robots Get STAMINA Boost

How Honeybee’s Unexpected Meeting with NASA Changed Everything