Decommissioning specialists at the UK’s Sellafield site are continuing to push the envelope in developing and using innovative technologies for safe nuclear clean-up operations.
From an article in Power Engineering.
The use of robots is increasingly commonplace, and according to Sellafield, they recently became the first to use a light detection and ranging (LiDAR) laser scanning device on remote-operated vehicles (ROV) in a high radiation environment.
This allowed the robot to navigate and build a 3D image of the hazardous area removing the need for humans to enter.
Calvin Smye, ROV equipment engineer, Sellafield Ltd said: “Everything we are using is off the shelf but by adding different payloads, like a LiDAR sensor and a radiation monitor, we are adapting them to deliver for our business.
“Since the introduction of this technology we’ve really been at the forefront of testing it and adjusting it to our needs…”
Spot in the spotlight
The robot fitted with LiDAR was indeed Spot the robot dog, a regular fixture at many Sellafield jobs and inspections.
Spot’s capabilities were shared recently during a live demonstration at Calder Hall, a building constructed in the 1950s where asbestos is a known hazard.
AtkinsRéalis recently utilized Spot to conduct an inspection to map how best to conduct clean-up operations. The inspection was live-streamed via Spot’s on-board camera.
According to Sellafield, these robots are now being used across other Nuclear Decommissioning Authority sites in the UK.
Also, the team is using IPEK crawler robots to inspect sewer pipes and exploring the use of ROVs to detect potentially dangerous gases in work areas before humans are sent in.
For the complete article on decommissioning CLICK HERE.
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