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Modification and long-term testing of a prototype manipulator for removing slag, temperature measuring and taking samples during melting of radioactive material


The main objective was the development of a new, simple manipulator for tasks like slag removal, sampling, temperature measurement to be carried out normally by man through a melting process in a commercial foundry. For the melting of radioactive material, the use of a manipulator minimizes the risk of hazardous contamination of the work force.

The objective was extended in order to test a prototype manipulator during a long-term operation (about 12 months) on a commercial melt facility dealing with nuclear waste.

The research work will be coordinated by Ansaldo SpA but mainly carried out by the Siempelkamp Gießerei. The main items of the work programme are:

1. Updating of system specification (Siempelkamp, Ansaldo, OTO Melara)
The modifications and adaptations to be carried out on the prototype manipulator will be established by Siempelkamp in agreement with Ansaldo and the EC.

2. Upgrading the manipulator (Siempelkamp)
Procurement of the necessary new components, adaptation/modification of remaining components and assembly of the manipulator at the CARLA melt facility.

3. Implementation and function testing of modifications and adaptations (Siempelkamp)
Siempelkamp will achieve the agreed modifications and adaptations on the manipulator. Function tests with non-radioactive material (cold tests) and with radioactive material (hot tests) will be carried out on the CARLA melt facility at Krefeld in order to verify the "good operation" of the manipulator. Implementation of further improvements if necessary.

4. Long-term operation on CARLA melt facility (Siempelkamp)
The manipulator will be installed on the CARLA melt facility and will be used permanently. After a significant period (eg one year), Siempelkamp will inform the EC (short work progress report) on the outcome of this campaign.

5. Final evaluation of results obtained (Ansaldo, Siempelkamp, OTO Melara)
The melting of contaminated metallic materials (< 200 Bq/g) using the manipulator will be evaluated with regard to costs, melt time, safety, occupational radiation exposure and radioactive emissions; it will then be compared to the presently used melting procedure.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


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

Participants (2)

Oto Melara SpA
Via Valdilocchi 15
19100 La Spezia
45,Siempelkampstra?e 45
47803 Krefeld