Using Single-Camera 3-D Imaging to Guide Material Handling Robots in a Nuclear Waste Package Closure System

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Nuclear reactors for generating energy and conducting research have been in operation for more than 50 years, and spent nuclear fuel and associated high-level waste have accumulated in temporary storage. Preparing this spent fuel and nuclear waste for safe and permanent storage in a geological repository involves developing a robotic packaging system—a system that can accommodate waste packages of various sizes and high levels of nuclear radiation. During repository operation, commercial and government-owned spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste will be loaded into casks and shipped to the repository, where these materials will be transferred from the casks into a ... continued below

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Shurtliff, Rodney M. September 1, 2005.

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Nuclear reactors for generating energy and conducting research have been in operation for more than 50 years, and spent nuclear fuel and associated high-level waste have accumulated in temporary storage. Preparing this spent fuel and nuclear waste for safe and permanent storage in a geological repository involves developing a robotic packaging system—a system that can accommodate waste packages of various sizes and high levels of nuclear radiation. During repository operation, commercial and government-owned spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste will be loaded into casks and shipped to the repository, where these materials will be transferred from the casks into a waste package, sealed, and placed into an underground facility. The waste packages range from 12 to 20 feet in height and four and a half to seven feet in diameter. Closure operations include sealing the waste package and all its associated functions, such as welding lids onto the container, filling the inner container with an inert gas, performing nondestructive examinations on welds, and conducting stress mitigation. The Idaho National Laboratory is designing and constructing a prototype Waste Package Closure System (WPCS). Control of the automated material handling is an important part of the overall design. Waste package lids, welding equipment, and other tools must be moved in and around the closure cell during the closure process. These objects are typically moved from tool racks to a specific position on the waste package to perform a specific function. Periodically, these objects are moved from a tool rack or the waste package to the adjacent glovebox for repair or maintenance. Locating and attaching to these objects with the remote handling system, a gantry robot, in a loosely fixtured environment is necessary for the operation of the closure cell. Reliably directing the remote handling system to pick and place the closure cell equipment within the cell is the major challenge.

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  • International Robot & Vision Show,Chicago, ILL,09/27/2005,09/29/2005

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-05-00610
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911164
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc882492

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • September 1, 2005

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 7:51 p.m.

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Shurtliff, Rodney M. Using Single-Camera 3-D Imaging to Guide Material Handling Robots in a Nuclear Waste Package Closure System, article, September 1, 2005; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc882492/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.