March 18, 2011

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Live Video Feeds

To paraphrase a CNN commentator yesterday, “the only way to find out if the Fukushima Nuclear Plant spent fuel pool has water is for a person to walk up to the pool and peer in”, implying that Fukushima Nuclear Plant has no live video feeds from its spent fuel pool. Hopefully the statement is wrong and is just because the commentator did not know.

source: NRC

If the statement is correct, it means that the Fukushima plant is not using live video feeds from the site, which will allow observing the pool from a safe distance 24/7. If live video feeds from the pool were available, they can be made available to the team, the experts and, if needed, to the public for real-time viewing. There are Internet services available that can distribute these live video feeds at a large scale, privately or publicly. 

Similarly, the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor live video feeds could also be made available for viewing at a large scale. Locations with intense radiation will require radiation-hardened cameras.

Japan produces the best IP cameras in the world and Panasonic IP cameras are the leader in the industry. For the nuclear plants, a pan-tilt-zoom camera such as Panasonic BB-HCM581 could be used to provide live video feeds. The camera supports power-over-ethernet, so power can be carried over the ethernet cable and no power is needed locally. These cameras can be deployed across the nuclear plant and live video feeds from each can be observed over the Internet. Using the Internet service, each live video feed can be distributed at a large scale to the team, experts, emergency personnel and public.

Panasonic BB-HCM581 IP camera