Testing Avexis — a submersible robot

Posted on 01 Nov 2017 and read 318 times
Testing Avexis — a submersible robotResearchers at the University of Manchester and Lancaster University have been working with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the National Maritime Research Institute and Nagaoka University of Technology to develop a submersible robot — Avexis — that can be sent into the damaged core of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to “locate and characterise” the radioactive materials inside it.

The Lancaster University team — led by Malcolm Joyce and James Taylor — has developed gamma and neutron detectors that can locate nuclear fuel; the University of Manchester team — led by Barry Lennox and Simon Watson — has developed the robotic platform that will transport the detectors.

The research partners in Japan have focused their efforts on developing a sonar system that can ‘topographically map’ the reactor environment.

In October, Avexis was successfully tested at the Naraha research facility, about 15km from Fukushima Daiichi. This work was funded by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) in collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Education Sport Culture and Technology.

A similar vehicle was recently used in the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo at Sellafield.

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