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Title: End-Effector Development for the PIP Puck Handling Robot

Abstract

It has been decided that excess, weapons-grade plutonium shall be immobilized to prevent nuclear proliferation. The method of immobilization is to encapsulate the plutonium in a ceramic puck, roughly the size of a hockey puck, using a sintering process. This method has been officially identified as the Plutonium Immobilization Process (PIP). A Can-in-Canister storage method will be used to further immobilize the plutonium. The Can-in-Canister method uses the existing design of a Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) canister to house the plutonium pucks. the process begins with several pucks being stacked in a stainless steel can. Several of the stainless steel cans are stacked in a cage-like magazine. Several of the magazines are then placed in a DWPF canister. The DWPF canister is then filled with molten glass containing high-level, radioactive waste from the DWPF vitrification process. The Can-in-Canister method makes reclamation of plutonium from the pucks technically difficult and highly undesirable. The mechanical requirements of the Can-in-Canister process, in conjunction with the amount of time required to immobilize the vast quantities of weapons-grade plutonium, will expose personnel to unnecessarily high levels of radiation if the processes were completed manually, in glove boxes. Therefore, automated equipment is designed into themore » process to reduce or eliminate personnel exposure. Robots are used whenever the automated handling operations become complicated. There are two such operations in the initial stages of the Can-in-Canister process, which required a six-axis robot. The first operation is a press unloading process. The second operation is a tray transfer process. To successfully accomplish the operational tasks described in the two operations, the end-effector of the robot must be versatile, lightweight, and rugged. As a result of these demands, an extensive development process was undertaken to design the optimum end-effector for these puck-handling operations. As an overall requirement, it was desired to keep the design of the robot end-effector as simple as possible. There were pros and cons for either type of actuation method (pneumatic or electric). But, pneumatic actuation was chosen for its simplicity and durability in a radioactive environment. It was determined early in the design process that at least two different types of end-effectors would be required for each of the operations. Therefore, a tool changer was incorporated into the end-effector design. The tool changer would also provide for simple end-effector maintenance when used in the PIP process.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Site (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
774283
Report Number(s):
WSRC-MS-2000-00909, Rev. 1
TRN: US0100956
DOE Contract Number:  
AC09-96SR18500
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ANS 9th Annual Topical Meeting, Seattle, WA (US), 03/04/2001--03/08/2001; Other Information: PBD: 31 Jan 2001
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; STAINLESS STEELS; WASTE PROCESSING; CONTAINERS; DESIGN; PLUTONIUM; ROBOTS; REMOTE HANDLING

Citation Formats

Fowley, M.D. End-Effector Development for the PIP Puck Handling Robot. United States: N. p., 2001. Web.
Fowley, M.D. End-Effector Development for the PIP Puck Handling Robot. United States.
Fowley, M.D. Wed . "End-Effector Development for the PIP Puck Handling Robot". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/774283.
@article{osti_774283,
title = {End-Effector Development for the PIP Puck Handling Robot},
author = {Fowley, M.D.},
abstractNote = {It has been decided that excess, weapons-grade plutonium shall be immobilized to prevent nuclear proliferation. The method of immobilization is to encapsulate the plutonium in a ceramic puck, roughly the size of a hockey puck, using a sintering process. This method has been officially identified as the Plutonium Immobilization Process (PIP). A Can-in-Canister storage method will be used to further immobilize the plutonium. The Can-in-Canister method uses the existing design of a Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) canister to house the plutonium pucks. the process begins with several pucks being stacked in a stainless steel can. Several of the stainless steel cans are stacked in a cage-like magazine. Several of the magazines are then placed in a DWPF canister. The DWPF canister is then filled with molten glass containing high-level, radioactive waste from the DWPF vitrification process. The Can-in-Canister method makes reclamation of plutonium from the pucks technically difficult and highly undesirable. The mechanical requirements of the Can-in-Canister process, in conjunction with the amount of time required to immobilize the vast quantities of weapons-grade plutonium, will expose personnel to unnecessarily high levels of radiation if the processes were completed manually, in glove boxes. Therefore, automated equipment is designed into the process to reduce or eliminate personnel exposure. Robots are used whenever the automated handling operations become complicated. There are two such operations in the initial stages of the Can-in-Canister process, which required a six-axis robot. The first operation is a press unloading process. The second operation is a tray transfer process. To successfully accomplish the operational tasks described in the two operations, the end-effector of the robot must be versatile, lightweight, and rugged. As a result of these demands, an extensive development process was undertaken to design the optimum end-effector for these puck-handling operations. As an overall requirement, it was desired to keep the design of the robot end-effector as simple as possible. There were pros and cons for either type of actuation method (pneumatic or electric). But, pneumatic actuation was chosen for its simplicity and durability in a radioactive environment. It was determined early in the design process that at least two different types of end-effectors would be required for each of the operations. Therefore, a tool changer was incorporated into the end-effector design. The tool changer would also provide for simple end-effector maintenance when used in the PIP process.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2001},
month = {1}
}

Conference:
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