The Chernobyl disaster is considered the worst nuclear disaster in all of history. It is one of two nuclear accidents to receive the maximum classification (level 7) on the International Nuclear Event Scale. The only other event to be given the maximum classification was the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which occurred in Japan in 2011. It is considered the worst and largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and was caused by an earthquake which resulted in a tsunami on March 11, 2011.
The area is so toxic and radiation levels are so high that some of the robots that were sent out to clean and investigate the site eventually became non-functioning.
It is estimated that eventually, the number of cancer deaths due to radiation from the disaster will be between 130-640 people in the upcoming years.
Although there have been no reported deaths or fatalities linked to short term radiation exposure so far, over 18,500 people died due to the earthquake and the resulting tsunami.
The nuclear disaster forced over 100,000 people to evacuate their homes.
Because the area that the disaster occurred in still carries extremely harmful radioactive materials and is extremely toxic, human beings cannot clean the area up.
Robots were manufactured to do the job of inspecting the area instead, and were sent out to the disaster site.
The robots were sent into the plants to take pictures and to help the Japanese government assess the damage and what needed to be done to fix it.
The radiation was so strong that some of the robots were destroyed. After being exposed to extremely high levels of radioactive materials, the wiring in some of the robots failed.
According to Naohiro Masuda, head of decommissioning for Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), each robot is custom-built. Because each robot is custom-built, it takes over two years to develop and create each one.
Some of the robots were not able to handle the radiation levels, which are measured in sieverts.
The radiation levels in certain areas of the Fukushima disaster location are extremely high. Some areas even have over 500 sieverts. According to the CBC, some of the robots were built to withstand almost 1,000 sieverts of radiation.
Radiation exposure can be deadly to any human being who is exposed to it, and although each robot was custom built for the task, some of them experienced issues due to the high levels of radioactive materials.
Robots which have been damaged experienced a multitude of issues, including camera damage and audio damage.
Some robots that have been used have also failed because they were unable to find fuel in time and were also getting stuck in small places.
The head of decommissioning for the Tokyo Electric Power Company has admitted that better robots are needed to examine the area. He also stated that they must take more of a creative approach when building them.
The disaster occurred over five years ago, and the Japanese government is still struggling with cleaning up the site.
Although there have been many failed attempts to inspect the area, officials state that they plan to begin the clean up in 2021.