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DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND TESTING OF A MANIPULATOR FOR REMOVING SLAG, MEASURING TEMPERATURE AND TAKING SAMPLES DURING MELTING OF RADIOACTIVE METAL

Objective

The work consists essentially in the improvement of an existing melting procedure for radioactive materials and mainly relates to:

a system specification including a preliminary study to identify the most appropriate manipulator system;
the components design and manufacturing;
modifications of the existing melting plant for components housing;
installation of the components and testing of the system.

The expected benefits relate mainly to a reduction of the radiation dose to the melting staff and a reduction of the contamination in the area surrounding the furnace; operations such as slag removing, temperature measuring and samples taking being nowadays carried out completely manually. The manipulator should also increase the efficiency of the melting technique.

The manipulator developed here has thus to:

keep people away from the furnace while it is open, in order to avoid their radiation/contamination by the melt, in particular through inhalation of radionuclides leaving the melt;
reduce the contamination of the surroundings of the furnace (the volatile nuclides like caesium leave the open furnace);
remove dust during melting of zinc-plated metal.

The work is a follow-up of previous EC contracts (FI1D0016, 0047 and 0059) under which Siempelkamp and KGB Gundremmingen developed the melting facilities TAURUS I, II and CARLA.
The work consists essentially in the improvement of an existing melting procedure for radioactive materials and mainly relates to: a system specification including a preliminary study to identify the most appropriate manipulator system;
the components design and manufacturing;
modifications of the existing melting plant for components housing;
installation of the components and testing of the system.

Starting from operational procedures and environmental conditions, and after an economical and technical evaluation detailed design of a jib crane supproting a telescopic mast on a horizontal trolley has been developed. The jib crane can be rotated over the open crucible and the telescopic mast can be introduced into the furnace, allowing the slag removal by a special grab and other operations such as the iron sampling and temperature measurement. A special bellows contain the dusts and fumes.
WORK PROGRAMME

1. System requirements such as basic operations, environmental conditions, interfaces will be specified (Siempelkamp)

2. System definition (Ansaldo)

2.1. Selection of the basic concept, performing the 3 operations required, and comparison with a single-purpose device.
2.2. Definition of main manipulator operations required, ie, scumming, sampling, and temperature measurements of the furnace melt bath.

3. Design of the defined system components (Ansaldo)

4. Manufacturing and shop testing of components (Ansaldo)

5. Modification of the existing facility (Siempelkamp)

6. System installation and testing in the Siempelkamp melt shop CARLA (All)

6.1. Cold tests, eg, tool changing, manipulator working autonomy, at ambient temperature.
6.2. Tests at operational thermal conditions.
6.3. Tests with radioactive material < 74 Bq/g, ie, carbon steel, stainless steel, steel plates covered with zinc, brass, copper and aluminium.

7. Final evaluation with regard to costs, melt time, safety, occupational radiation exposure and radioactive emissions to the environment (All)

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Ansaldo SpA - Un'Azienda Finmeccanica
Address
Corso Perrone 25
16161 Genova
Italy

Participants (1)

SIEMPELKAMP NUKLEAR- UND UMWELTTECHNIK GMBH & CO.
Germany
Address
45,Siempelkampstra?e 45
47803 Krefeld