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Nanaimo-built ‘Robo-Snake’ will explore Fukushima reactors

WATCH: A Nanaimo company has played a critical role in the development of a robotic “snake” — that will be used to explore the melted nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan. Kylie Stanton reports.

Nanaimo-based Inuktun Services has created a robot that, if all goes according to plan, will help Japanese officials safely remove damaged reactors from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which had a catastrophic meltdown of three of its six nuclear reactors in 2011.

“They’re looking to see what’s going inside one of the reactors that melted when the earthquake happened,” says Douglas Aalseth with the quality control department.

“They need to know they’re safe to decommission whatever that might mean.”

The snakelike, remotely driven robot will slither through a four-inch pipe, before descending on a platform just below the reactor’s core bottom.

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“This can go into small pipes, or flat for steering,” boasts Alan Doucette, Quality Control Manager.

“It has its own little motor, with a gearbox. Does about 30 feet per minute.”

They hope the information the robot is able to capture will allow officials to bring the reactors to a state where debris can be removed, and the reactors themselves can be filled with water.

– With files from Kylie Stanton

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