A new centre for the development and testing of remote-controlled equipment for use in decommissioning the damaged Fukushima Daiichi NPP was opened on 30 March. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency began construction of the Naraha Remote Technology Development Centre in Fukushima prefecture in September 2014. It will be responsible for the development and demonstration of remote-controlled equipment and devices to be used in the decommissioning of the damaged Fukushima reactors.
The centre at Naraha-Minami industrial park houses a mock-up of the lower part of a reactor containment vessel, representing the interior of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, as well as an indoor demonstration test area for disaster response robots that will also be used to train operators and other workers. The Naraha Remote Technology Development Centre comprises two buildings: the research management building equipped with state-of-the-art virtual reality systems to train workers, and the test building.
The test building was recently completed and will be used for carrying out demonstration tests for decommissioning the reactors. This will include demonstrations for repairing sections from which cooling water is leaking in the lower part of the reactor containment vessel. The building will also be used for developing and demonstrating remote-controlled equipment.