Powered, armoured exoskeletons for reactor maintenance?
I've heard that line somewhere before.
Mine's the one with the assault cannon and cyclone rack...
A splendid Japanese professor has offered his "HAL" powered exoskeleton suit for use by nuclear powerplant workers at Fukushima, pointing out that the suit's motorised limbs would allow users to lift radiation-proof armour which would otherwise be prohibitively heavy. Tsukuba-based firm "Cyberdyne" said in a statement: "This …
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If armoured suits don't catch on, next they'll suggest creating robots to do the job and then we're on the slippery slope to DOOOOOOOOM.
"the film didn't include the individual drop capsules or the power armour, and was much the poorer for it" - Yep, but the film had Denise Richards instead so that's mlore than enough compensation.
They certainly won't be inventing Skynet; Paradigm Secure Communications beat them to it when, in an exercise many might consider to be tempting (if not outright taunting) fate, they decided that would be the perfect name for their network of military communications satellites. Cheers for that, guys.
Can the Reg please keep their eyes peeled and alert us if/when the two companies start working together...
As in HAL, the murderous computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Also, Skynet already exists. There are a bunch of things called Skynet. Amongst them: satellites and an ISP: just what a newborn self-aware computerized conscience needs to keep an eye on its former masters, the puny humans.
Welcome to the H.E.V. mark 4 protective system. For use in hazardous environment conditions. High-impact reactive armour activated. Atmospheric contaminant sensors activated. Vital sign monitoring activated. Automatic medical systems engaged. Weapon selection system activated. Munition level monitoring activated. Communications interface online. Have a very safe day.
Not sure is see the point of this suit (in terms of stopping radiation, I'm sure every commentard could think of a few other interesting uses). In terms of actually stopping radiation a couple of layers of cotton will stop any alpha particle, and a bit of plastic sheeting will stop beta radiation. On the other hand it takes several feet of lead plating to even slow down gamma radiation, and I doubt any suit could generate enough power to move all that around (unless there a nuclear power plant strapped to back, which I think would defeat the object somewhat,,,)
What could possibly go wrong, other than a sudden radiation surge coursing through the control circuitry of the powered suit, melting said circuitry into the operators brain stem and the intense pain and shocking revalation of his-now-lost humanity leaving the operator insane and irrevocably melded to his irradiated and unstoppable powered armor suit.
Oh wait, that's what could go wrong....
The Matt Helm movie called “The Ambushers” circa 1967 is the earliest example of powered exoskeltons I can find at short notice, may be something earlier than that but not sure. There is also a Sci-Fi novel whose name escapes me where the hero shuts down a runaway nuclear reactor whilst wearing an armoured power suit.
It seems that in the depths of the "New Scientist" archives is a reference to using one of the 4K superconductors (specifically Type 1) to modulate a stream of gamma radiation.
Can't recall exactly what the application was, possibly imaging or similar like a programmable aperture which could be set for scanning by quenching sections sequentially.
So... Make a suit with a cryogenic layer inside and out, with an MgB2 layer in the centre.
Doesen't need to be continuous as MgB2 still superconducts in powder form.
Flow liquid nitrogen and helium through the lining to keep it below its Tc and voila.
The theory has to do with the superconductors excluding magnetic fields. As gamma rays are essentially high energy electromagnetic waves superconductors should affect them.
If nothing else it should help reduce the intensity by a couple of orders of magnitude allowing a worker to go into an otherwise lethal environment and still only get a survivable dose.
One wonders if anyone has tried using a highly electrically charged superconductor-insulator-superconductor capacitor to see if this affects the shielding?