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Day 2 - WM2018

Tuesday March 20

The first set of presentations we attended looked at the international scene in robotic decommissioning with presenters from France and Germany.

  • Damien Roulet (Onet, France) talked about laser cutting solutions.
  • Ralf Borchardt (EWN, Germany), who we met last night, gave an interesting talk about reactor dismantling and subsequent packaging of waste. 
  • There were a number of other presentations on dismantling of old reactors and the techniques involved (diamond wire cutting, water jet cutting and plasma cutting, etc) and inspection/characterisation (Visatec crawlers, cameras and laser scanners). The case study information was useful to update the databases.

In a separate session, Matt Mellor (Createc) presented on RISER, the drone with radiation mapping capability. He talked about mapping at Fukushima. There were several other variations of 3D mapping using drones presented as well.

The exhibition hall had a separate area for robotics. The RoboMantis was particularly impressive.

After lunch there was a session on the DOE-EM robotics roadmap. In 2017, a team was built to develop a roadmap to provide strategic direction to DOE-EM’s Science of Safety Initiative by establishing an actionable framework to infuse and use robotics, remote systems, and related technologies to lower occupational risks and exposure and enhance the productivity of workforce personnel. Site needs were surveyed, key technologies were identified, and a mapping of technologies to needs was developed. The resulting roadmap includes near term deployments as well as near and far-term research and development tasks. During this panel, the DOE-EM Roadmap was presented by the team: Rod Rimando (DOE), Richard Voyles (Purdue University and Jason Wheeler (Sandia).

Paula testing the joy stick for a Kuka robot. The controls are the same as that to be used at Sellafield.

Towards the end of the day, Diane Callow (Sandia) gave a talk about their mine rescue robot called Gemini-Scout - it has some impressive capabilities.


After all the presentations, a few of us met in the Hyatt to wish Andy Szilagyi a happy birthday.

In the evening, we went to a networking event hosted by Pentek at the Majerle’s Sports Grill. Pentek produce a wide range of tools for decommissioning including a floor scabbler called "Moose" and a wall preparation system called "WallWalker". It was a great event - very flexible and friendly and excellent spicy chicken wings.