Radiation-resistant cameras to be produced in Fukushima(耐放射線カメラ、福島県で生産へ)

The radiation-resistant camera developed by Mach Corp. is small and light enough to be held on the palm.(マッハ社が開発した耐放射線カメラ。手のひらに乗せられるほど小さく軽い(マッハコーポレーション提供))

 Optical equipment maker Mach Corp. has announced that the radiation- resistant camera it has been developing is ready for practical use. The Yokohama-based company, which has a branch office in Minami-Soma, said that the International Atomic Energy Agency had expressed its intention to procure as many as 1,500 of the cameras.


 The company began developing the camera because decommissioning of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has been hampered by the extremely high radiation levels inside containment vessels. The foreign-produced cameras that are often used at nuclear power plants are expected to break down within a few hours to a day after being placed in the containment vessels. However, the newly developed camera can withstand 2,000 times more radiation, so theoretically, it could last more than a year under such conditions.


 IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi got his hands on one of these cameras from the company during his visit to Japan in July. He reportedly expressed his hope to procure 1,500 more if the camera's performance is confirmed in testing. The camera is expected to be used not only for the U.N. body's monitoring activities to prevent the military use of nuclear materials, but also for quickly detecting abnormalities by installing them in nuclear facilities around the world.


 Decommissioning work in Fukushima under extremely harsh conditions, such as to remove melted fuel debris, will start in earnest in the future, and demand is expected to increase for radiation-resistant cameras. Since the technology for radiation-resistant cameras is similar to that for satellite cameras, the market will likely continue to grow.


 Mach Corp. intends to procure all components except sensors and lenses mainly in the Hamadori region in Fukushima Prefecture. The company is already building out its mass production system, with factories in Iwaki and Minami-Soma now producing and assembling camera circuit boards and bodies.


 "We'd like to not only to contribute to the nuclear power plant's decommissioning, but also supply the world from Fukushima with safety systems that monitor nuclear reactors, so as to prevent a nuclear plant accident from happening again," said Mach Corp. CEO Goubun Akatsuka in an interview in Fukushima.

( Translated by The Japan News )


 【 2023年10月14日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】