Robots Will Take Dounreay's Dome Apart
Like something out of the Tom Cruise movie War of the Worlds, the Kuka robot has a very important job to do.
The standard industrial robot, built exactly the same as a typical car assembly line robot, will play an integral part in the demolition process of Dounreay's iconic fast reactor.
Removal of the highly hazardous and radioactive breeder slugs is the next crucial step in decommissioning the fifty year old facility.
The robot does the job traditionally undertaken by operators using manipulators whilst working through heavily shielded lead glass windows. The working area is very high in radiation - too high for people to access, so the robot does the job safely and much quicker, lowering the radiological hazards, plus providing consistency and reliability in a highly controlled environment.
The giant orange robot, built by Kuka Robotics UK Ltd, manoeuvres on a static turntable and is pre-programmed to remove the lid of the 500 litre waste drums, swab around the surface checking for traces of radioactive contamination and clean the top of the Magnox flask which stores the drums.
It operates like a giant portable pincer arm and is controlled remotely to maintain a safe, clean and secure process within the breeder packaging plant.
Inactive commissioning will be complete by the end of the financial year ready for the breeder removal operation to begin in summer 2012.
A camera has delved into the depths of Dounreay’s famous dome and captured the first footage for over fifty years of Britain’s first Fast Breeder Reactor. Nitrogen cooled digital cameras have been inserted into the reactor and recorded the images of the internal structures and the breeder fuel matrix. ... [full story
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has this week published its 2013-16 Business Plan which sets out its delivery priorities for the period as it continues to focus on accelerating hazard reduction across its 19-site estate. The focus at Sellafield will remain on driving forward further progress across the site including a programme of major projects required to decommission the high hazard legacy ponds and silos, while also working towards the completion of the contracts at both the Magnox and Thorp reprocessing plants by the end of the decade. ... [full story
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced a decision to proceed with the next phase of the National Nuclear Archive project, which will see a new purpose built archive facility constructed at Wick to provide long-term storage of records and other archive material from civil nuclear sites in the UK. The archive will be operated on NDA’s behalf by a specialist commercial partner and is expected to bring more than 20 sustainable jobs to the town. ... [full story
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority says significant acceleration in the clean-up and shutdown of Dounreay will bring real value to the taxpayer who funds the work. Its chief executive John Clarke, writing in the organisation's annual report published today, says the award of the site closure contract earlier this year was a milestone in the NDA's mission to clean up the UK's nuclear legacy and bring down the cost. ... [full story
As the opportunities for renewable energy increase in the North of Scotland, the lead partner in the Dounreay site, Babcock, announces its continued support to bring jobs into the area. The secondment of June Love, Dounreay, to support Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) activities in the sectors of Energy and Business Services demonstrates a real partnership working between the private and the public sectors. ... [full story
Dounreay today completed the destruction of one of the most hazardous legacies of Britain's earliest atomic research. A purpose-built chemical plant processed the last of 57,000 litres of liquid metal lifted from the primary cooling circuit of the experimental fast breeder reactor. ... [full story
Construction work is underway on a new railhead to support the closure of the redundant nuclear site at Dounreay. The facility at Georgemas Junction on the far north rail line will enable fuel belonging to the UK to be returned to national stocks where it can be used to generate electricity. ... [full story
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority today publishes its business plan for 2012/13, setting out key clean-up goals for sites such as Dounreay to achieve. "Our business plan for 2012/2013 sees us entering into the second year of funding allocated in the last spending review," says NDA chief executive John Clarke. ... [full story
Senior figures from government and industry are gathering at Dounreay today to hear the site's new clean-up team set out their vision to accelerate the demolition of Britain's second largest civil nuclear site. Three of the world's biggest engineering and project management companies - Babcock International, CHM2HILL and URS - have come together to win the largest site closure contract ever let in the UK. ... [full story
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd is under new ownership from today. The company is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Babcock Dounreay Partnership. ... [full story
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