A handheld device designed to remove radioactive substances using laser beams has recently been developed by a group of Japanese researchers.
Using laser beams moving at high speed, the machine is able to strip off radioactive substances present in surfaces of pipes and other objects in nuclear plants. The dusts accumulated are then stored inside the machine.
Considering that the handy decontaminator only scrapes off radioactive substances, it results to a much lesser amount of radioactive wastes, estimated to be one thousand times less than conventional methods.
The device which measures 30 centimeters high and wide, and 40 centimeters long is the world’s first portable radiation decontaminator, the researchers said.
The researchers from Wakasa Wan Energy Research Center located in Fukui Prefecture in central Japan started developing the machine seven years ago originally to help reduce radioactive wastes in nuclear plants.
It was also conceived to ‘decommission a prototype test reactor known as Fugen in Fukui Prefecture’.
The new invention is anticipated to help in the operations for removing radioactive substances in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. With the government being wary about the mounting volume of radioactive wastes from the damaged nuke plant, this convenient machine generating a significant decrease in radioactive wastes would seem very useful.