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Title: Robotics Use in Source Recovery at the Savannah River Site

The Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken South Carolina has a state of the art Instrument Calibrations facility that supports calibration and repair of an inventory of approximately 8000 portable radiological monitoring instruments. The Instrument Calibrations facility began operations in 1996. The Low Scatter Irradiator (LSI) system is a key part of the facility. The LSI room is a shielded 40-foot by 40-foot by 40-foot room designed to minimize radiation scatter during calibrations and evaluations. Aluminum floor grating with one-inch spacing is part of the design to minimize scatter. A shielded source storage carousel is used to select calibration sources via a computer-controlled system. The carousel has eight source slots with seven sources used providing a selection of 60Cobalt, 137Cesium, and 252Californium sources of different intensities. One slot is used for a dummy source for system function testing. Sources are contained in an aluminum container known as the source rabbit. Air pressure is used to blow the selected source through a transfer tube to the top of the tube where it is held in place by a suction cup and a maintained air vacuum. During calibrations, instruments are placed on four LSI tracks that move instruments tomore » the proper distance from the source for the desired calibrated exposure rate. Sources are returned to the carousel using gravity with multiple interlocks and safeguards built into the system to ensure that the source has dropped before entry into the LSI after a source exposure. Two room radiation monitors provide a remote reading to the operator from the computer console as another indicator of the source status. Due to the design of the LSI, it was assumed that a source could not become lodged in the transfer tube. That proved to be a false assumption when in May 2000, a source did not return to its home position. At this time, the LSI was being tested due to some apparent difficulties in sources being held by the suction cup at the top of the transfer tube. Two LSI room radiation monitors located at different positions indicated radiation rates of around 7600 mR/hr and 1100 mR/hr respectively instead of the expected 0 mR/hr when a source has returned to its home position. This paper focuses on the recovery operations for the exposed source with a summary of each step.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
773195
Report Number(s):
ESH-HPT-2000-00150
TRN: US0100052
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-96SR18500
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Health Physics Society Midyear Topical, Anaheim, CA (US), 02/04/2001--02/07/2001; Other Information: PBD: 10 Jan 2001
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (US)
Sponsoring Org:
US Department of Energy (US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; RADIATION MONITORS; RADIATION PROTECTION; SAVANNAH RIVER; SOUTH CAROLINA; ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE; ROBOTS