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Title: Prototype pushing robot for emplacing vitrified waste canisters into horizontal disposal drifts

Abstract

Within the French Underground Disposal concept, as described in ANDRA's (Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des Dechets Radioactifs) Dossier 2005, the Pushing Robot is an application envisaged for the emplacement (and the potential retrieval) of 'Vitrified waste packages', also called 'C type packages'. ANDRA has developed a Prototype Pushing Robot within the framework of the ESDRED Project (Engineering Studies and Demonstration of Repository Design) which is co-funded by the European Commission as part of the sixth EURATOM Research and Training Framework Programme (FP6) on nuclear energy (2002 - 2006). The Rationale of the Pushing Robot technology comes from various considerations, including the need for (1) a simple and robust system, capable of moving (and potentially retrieving) on up to 40 metres (m), a 2 tonne C type package (mounted on ceramic sliding runners) inside the carbon steel sleeve constituting the liner (and rock support) of a horizontal disposal cell, (2) small annular clearances between the package and the liner, (3) compactness of the device to be transferred from surface to underground, jointly with the package, inside a shielding cask, and (4) remote controlled operations for the sake of radioprotection. The initial design, based on gripping supports, has been replaced bymore » a 'technical variant' based on inflatable toric jacks. It was then possible, using a test bench, to check that the Pushing Robot worked properly. Steps as high as 7 mm were successfully cleared by a dummy package pushed by the Prototype.. Based on the lessons learned by ANDRA's regarding the Prototype Pushing Robot, a new Scope of Work is being written for the Contract concerning an Industrial Scale Demonstrator. The Industrial Scale Demonstration should be completed by the end of the second Quarter of 2008. (authors)« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des Dechets Radioactifs (ANDRA), 92 - Chatenay Malabry (France)
  2. CREATIV ALLIANCE, 78 - Viroflay (France)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9 - 332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
21294629
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-09-WM-07052
TRN: US10V0033040819
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM'07: 2007 Waste Management Symposium - Global Accomplishments in Environmental and Radioactive Waste Management: Education and Opportunity for the Next Generation of Waste Management Professionals, Tucson, AZ (United States), 25 Feb - 1 Mar 2007; Other Information: Country of input: France
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CARBON STEELS; CASKS; CERAMICS; EURATOM; FRANCE; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; ROBOTS; UNDERGROUND DISPOSAL; VITRIFICATION

Citation Formats

Londe, L., Seidler, W.K., Bosgiraud, J.M., Guenin, J.J., and Devaux, P. Prototype pushing robot for emplacing vitrified waste canisters into horizontal disposal drifts. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Londe, L., Seidler, W.K., Bosgiraud, J.M., Guenin, J.J., & Devaux, P. Prototype pushing robot for emplacing vitrified waste canisters into horizontal disposal drifts. United States.
Londe, L., Seidler, W.K., Bosgiraud, J.M., Guenin, J.J., and Devaux, P. 2007. "Prototype pushing robot for emplacing vitrified waste canisters into horizontal disposal drifts". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_21294629,
title = {Prototype pushing robot for emplacing vitrified waste canisters into horizontal disposal drifts},
author = {Londe, L. and Seidler, W.K. and Bosgiraud, J.M. and Guenin, J.J. and Devaux, P.},
abstractNote = {Within the French Underground Disposal concept, as described in ANDRA's (Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des Dechets Radioactifs) Dossier 2005, the Pushing Robot is an application envisaged for the emplacement (and the potential retrieval) of 'Vitrified waste packages', also called 'C type packages'. ANDRA has developed a Prototype Pushing Robot within the framework of the ESDRED Project (Engineering Studies and Demonstration of Repository Design) which is co-funded by the European Commission as part of the sixth EURATOM Research and Training Framework Programme (FP6) on nuclear energy (2002 - 2006). The Rationale of the Pushing Robot technology comes from various considerations, including the need for (1) a simple and robust system, capable of moving (and potentially retrieving) on up to 40 metres (m), a 2 tonne C type package (mounted on ceramic sliding runners) inside the carbon steel sleeve constituting the liner (and rock support) of a horizontal disposal cell, (2) small annular clearances between the package and the liner, (3) compactness of the device to be transferred from surface to underground, jointly with the package, inside a shielding cask, and (4) remote controlled operations for the sake of radioprotection. The initial design, based on gripping supports, has been replaced by a 'technical variant' based on inflatable toric jacks. It was then possible, using a test bench, to check that the Pushing Robot worked properly. Steps as high as 7 mm were successfully cleared by a dummy package pushed by the Prototype.. Based on the lessons learned by ANDRA's regarding the Prototype Pushing Robot, a new Scope of Work is being written for the Contract concerning an Industrial Scale Demonstrator. The Industrial Scale Demonstration should be completed by the end of the second Quarter of 2008. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2007,
month = 7
}

Conference:
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  • The disposal of certain types of radioactive waste canisters in a deep repository involves handling and emplacement of very heavy loads. The weight of these particular canisters can be in the order of 20 to 50 metric tons. They generally have to be handled underground in openings that are not much larger than the canisters themselves as it is time consuming and expensive to excavate and backfill large openings in a repository. This therefore calls for the development of special technology that can meet the requirements for safe operation at an industrial scale in restrained operating spaces. Air/water cushion liftingmore » systems are used world wide in the industry for moving heavy loads. However, until now the technology needed for emplacing heavy cylindrical radioactive waste packages in bored drifts (with narrow annular gaps) has not been previously developed or demonstrated. This paper describes the related R and D work carried out by ANDRA (for air cushion technology) and by SKB and Posiva (for water cushion technology) respectively, mainly within the framework of the European Commission (EC) funded Integrated Project called ESDRED (6. European Framework Programme). The background for both the air and the water cushion applications is presented. The specific characteristics of the two different emplacement concepts are also elaborated. Then the various phases of the Test Programmes (including the Prototype phases) are detailed and illustrated for the two lifting media. Conclusions are drawn for each system developed and evaluated. Finally, based on the R and D experience, improvements deemed necessary for an industrial application are listed. The tests performed so far have shown that the emplacement equipment developed is operating efficiently. However further tests are required to verify the availability and the reliability of the equipment over longer periods of time and to identify the modifications that would be needed for an industrial application in a nuclear and mining environment. (authors)« less
  • A method for controlling and predicting the composition of high-level nuclear waste borosilicate glass produced in a liquid-fed ceramic melter process has been investigated by simulating process operations. A control algorithm was developed in which upstream sampling of the waste was used to determine the amounts of glass-forming compounds to add to the waste to adjust the decay heat loading and boron loading in the glass to desired levels. In the simulation, the predicted glass composition was based on samples taken of the melter feed (the combined glass former and waste mixture). The error found between the predicted and truemore » (e.g., resulting from the simulation) compositions of various glass components was 2 to 8%, depending on the feed sampling strategy used and on estimated standard deviations of stochastic process parameters. Such errors are estimated to increase the error in the predicted long-term durability of the glass by 7 to 64%.« less
  • Two series of experiments have been carried out in an attempt to derive a source term for the release of some radioisotopes from vitrified high-level waste after disposal in hard rock. In the first type of experiment, the repository was modelled in miniature and the release of the isotopes was measured after they had leached from the glass and diffused through the backfill. In the second type, the solubilities of the isotopes were measured in the presence of the constituents of the repository.
  • This paper consists of a preliminary comparative assessment of the radiological consequences of the deep geological disposal of high-level wasteforms, focusing on the differences between the performance of spent fuel and vitrified high-level waste in potential repository environments. In order to undertake quantitative assessment calculations, the important mechanisms controlling the degradation of, and radionuclide release from, each of the wasteforms must be modeled. These mechanisms are briefly described and compared. Their relative importance is estimated from the results of a preliminary assessment of the disposal of the waste arising from 1 ton of original uranium fuel. The results indicate that,more » within the constraints of the available data and in the absence of firm proposals for the development of a site, the risks from the disposal of the two wasteforms are broadly comparable, but that the mechanisms controlling this result are distinctly different.« less
  • An experimental program is described wherein the effect of important independent variables on glass reaction under conditions that may exist for unsaturated storage is examined. The effect of radioactive vs. simulated glasses is being examined in a set of simple and integrated tests. Results through 140 days show that no major differences exist between the two glass types although some trends are being established that need further examination. The effect of SA/V was examined in preliminary tests done at 10, 50, and 100 m{sup {minus}1}. Analysis of the reacted glass structure indicated that as the SA/V changed, the assemblage ofmore » crystalline phases that formed on the reacted glass varied and the process by which the glass structure reacted changed. Finally, the effect of radiation on glass reactivity is being studied. For each variable studied, tests are in progress that will provide information to support startup of the glass processing facilities and licensing of a repository. 16 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs.« less