IAEA selects S. Korean robot as candidate for nuclear inspection

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-03-12 16:14 Updated : 2018-03-12 16:14
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Courtesy of Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute ]

SEOUL -- A robot developed by South Korea's state nuclear research institute has been selected as a candidate for nuclear inspection by an international nuclear watchdog.

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) said Monday that in a contest last year, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) selected a robot developed by a KAERI research team and two others from Britain and Hungary for the inspection of a nuclear fuel storage tank.

The Vienna-based agency has launched a project to develop robots capable of carrying out the dangerous task of collecting data and checking spent fuel at nuclear reactors on behalf of human inspectors.

The South Korean institute said in a statement that its robot called "Spent Fuel Check Vehicle (SCV)" can move faster than competitors, with its user interface system allowing easy control and check of spent fuel.  The 11-kilogram device is also small and easy to get rid of radioactive contaminant, it said, adding that if selected by the IAEA, the SCV would be manufactured and exported as finished products.

"Among those that participated in the contest, the KAERI robot was the only one to successfully carry out all the experiments required by the IAEA," according to the KAERI statement.

The SCV's technology level should be proved through the "proof-of-concept", the institute said, adding it is discussing details of its field test with IAEA officials and plans to test the robot's performance inside an actual nuclear power plant this year.

"We will do our best to manufacture and export finished products to the global market," KAERI President Ha Jae-joo was quoted as saying.