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China unveils first nuclear emergency response robots

Updated: Jun 22,2017 10:14 AM     People’s Daily Online

China has unveiled and deployed its first batch of nuclear emergency response robots, which are designed to guarantee the safety of nuclear power plants.

Four nuclear emergency response robots, jointly designed by China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and the Institute of Optics and Electronics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have been serving at Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant in South China’s Guangdong province since last November.

The four robots are responsible for both land and underwater missions, including salvaging and observations.

According to Feng Chang, a leader of the research and development team for the robots, they are able to withstand temperatures of up to 65 degrees Celsius and nuclear radiation at up to 10,000 Sv per hour. They are not only built from radiation-resistant material, each robot’s structure is carefully planned to ensure that it is radiation-proof as a whole.

Each robot is equipped with the best radiation-resistant camera in the world. In a work environment with nuclear radiation of 10,000 Sv per hour, the robots can still send images at 600 lines per inch.

“Ordinary robots, built with metal or rubber covers, easily burn under strong nuclear radiation. Their digital transmission devices stop working, and even the lenses of their cameras turn black,” Feng told Science and Technology Daily.

“The heaviest robot in a set of four is about 100 kilograms. In the case of a nuclear accident, all four robots could be packed and delivered in a single container,” Feng explained, adding that the robots can also play an important role in the daily maintenance of nuclear power plants.

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