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DEVELOPMENT OF A PROTOTYPE SYSTEM FOR REMOTE UNDERWATER PLASMA-ARC CUTTING.

Objective

BASED ON AN EXTENSIVE FOREGOING EXPERIENCE WITH UNDERWATER PLASMA-ARC CUTTING, THE PRESENT CONTRACT IS INTENDED TO FURTHER DEVELOP THIS TECHNIQUE WITH THE FOLLOWING OBJECTIVES :

- REMOTE AND AUTOMATED CUTTING OF COMPLEX AND THICK-WALLED METAL STRUCTURES;
- EVALUATE THE PHYSICO-CHEMICAL STATUS OF THE WATER;
- MINIMISE THE GENERATION OF CUTTING BY-PRODUCTS.

CUTTING TESTS ARE EXECUTED BOTH WITH NON-RADIOACTIVE AND LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE SAMPLES OF STAINLESS STEEL.

IN A SUPPLEMENTARY AGREEMENT CONCLUDED IN 1988, THE INITIAL WORK PROGRAMME WAS EXTENDED TO THE DEVELOPMENT, CONSTRUCTION AND TESTING OF A SYSTEM FOR AUTOMATIC CUTTING (POSITIONING AND GUIDANCE OF TORCH, CUTTING CONTROL) AND FOR REMOTE MAINTENANCE, AS DEFINED IN THE NEW B.6. WORKING PACKAGE.
Work has been carried out to develop underwater plasma arc cutting techniques, to characterise the aerosols produced by cutting operations on radioactive and nonradioactive work pieces, and to develop suitable ventilation and filtration techniques.
B.1. MODIFICATION OF THE PRESENTLY AVAILABLE MOTORISED CUTTING TABLE, ALLOWING FOR THE DISMANTLING OF MORE COMPLEX STRUCTURES.

B.2. EXECUTION OF CUTTING TESTS AIMED AT OPTIMISING THE MAIN CUTTING PARAMETERS.

B.3. FINAL ADAPTATION OF THE CUTTING TABLE, BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE GAINED IN WORKING STEP B.2.

B.4. EXECUTION OF CUTTING TESTS ON NON-RADIOACTIVE STAINLESS STEEL, AIMED AT A PARAMETRIC STUDY OF THE QUANTITY AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE ARISING CUTTING BY-PRODUCTS AND OF THE EVOLUTION OF THE PHYSICO-CHEMICAL STATUS OF THE WATER.

B.5. PREPARATION, FACILITY ADAPTATION AND EXECUTION OF CUTTING TESTS ON RADIOACTIVE STEEL, INCLUDING THE PREPARATION OF AN ACTIVITY BALANCE OF THE GASEOUS AND LIQUID CUTTING BY-PRODUCTS.

B.6. DEVELOPMENT, CONSTRUCTION AND TESTING OF A PROCEDURE FOR AUTOMATIC CUTTING AND FOR REMOTE MAINTENANCE.

B.7. CONCLUSIVE ASSESSMENT OF THE POTENTIAL FOR INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION OF AUTOMATED PLASMA-ARC CUTTING FOR RADIOACTIVE COMPONENTS.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

COMMISSARIAT A L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE
Address
Rue De La Federation 31-33
75015 Paris
France