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The development of a telerobotic system to execute the three generic decommissioning tasks of size-reduction, decontamination and clearance monitoring is described. Two inactive demonstrations of size-reduction techniques were carried out. One used mechanical tools such as drills and saws to size-reduce a glovebox while the other deployed an electrical discharge machine head to cut up a heat exchanger. An active trial of the mechanical size-reduction system was performed by installing the demonstrator in a pressurized suit area and using it to decommission plutonium contaminated gloveboxes. Cost savings achieved by telerobotic size-reduction techniques relative to manual methods were predicted before the commencement of the active trail and compared with those achieved during the trial. Decontamination trials were performed by deploying an electropolishing head unit under both bilateral teleoperator control and programmed robotic control. In clearance monitoring, a simulated monitoring head was deployed at the end of 1.3 m lightweight pole which was used to extend the operating area of the system. To underpin the development of a telerobotic system capable of operating in ionizing radiation environments, a number of irradiations were carried out to assess the radiation tolerance of key components such as the electropolishing head, seals, position sensors and force sensors.

Additional information

Authors: BROWN M H, AEA Technology, Harwell Laboratory, Didcot, Oxon (GB);THOMPSON C, AEA Technology, Harwell Laboratory, Didcot, Oxon (GB);DECRETON M, SCK/CEN, Mol (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 16903 EN (1996) 46pp., FS, ECU 7.00
Availability: Available from the (2)
ISBN: ISBN 92-827-7245-4
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