AI News, Pipe-crawling robot will help decommission DOE nuclear facility

Pipe-crawling robot will help decommission DOE nuclear facility

The CMU robot has demonstrated it can measure radiation levels more accurately from inside the pipe than is possible with external techniques.

In addition to savings in labor costs, its use significantly reduces hazards to workers who otherwise must perform external measurements by hand, garbed in protective gear and using lifts or scaffolding to reach elevated pipes.

DOE officials estimate the robots could save tens of millions of dollars in completing the characterization of uranium deposits at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, and save perhaps $50 million at a similar uranium enrichment plant in Paducah, Kentucky.

CMU is building two of the robots, called RadPiper, and will deliver the production prototype units to DOE's sprawling 3,778-acre Portsmouth site in May. RadPiper employs a new 'disc-collimated' radiation sensor invented at CMU.

With 10.6 million square feet of floor space, it is DOE's largest facility under roof, with three large buildings containing enrichment process equipment that span the size of 158 football fields.

In the first process building, human crews over the past three years have performed more than 1.4 million measurements of process piping and components manually and are close to declaring the building 'cold and dark.'

The Robotics Institute and Whittaker have extensive experience with robots in nuclear facilities, including the design and construction of robots to aid with the cleanup of the damaged Three Mile Island reactor building in Pennsylvania and the crippled Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine.

The Galaxy Primes by E. E. "Doc" Smith

They were four of the greatest minds in the Universe: Two men, two women, lost in an experimental spaceship billions of parsecs from home. And as they ...

Temple Trouble by H. Beam Piper

Miracles to order was a fine way for the paratimers to get mining concessions—but Nature can sometimes pull counter-miracles. And so can men, for that matter.