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Robotics and remote handling concepts for disposal of high-level nuclear waste

Description: This paper summarizes preliminary remote handling and robotic concepts being developed as part of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain Project. The DOE is currently evaluating the Yucca Mountain Nevada site for suitability as a possible underground geologic repository for the disposal of high level nuclear waste. The current advanced conceptual design calls for the disposal of more than 12,000 high level nuclear waste packages within a 225 km underground network of tunnels and emplacement drifts. Many of the waste packages may weigh as much as 66 tonnes and measure 1.8 m in diameter and 5.6 m long. The waste packages will emit significant levels of radiation and heat. Therefore, remote handling is a cornerstone of the repository design and operating concepts. This paper discusses potential applications areas for robotics and remote handling technologies within the subsurface repository. It also summarizes the findings of a preliminary technology survey which reviewed available robotic and remote handling technologies developed within the nuclear, mining, rail and industrial robotics and automation industries, and at national laboratories, universities, and related research institutions and government agencies.
Date: April 27, 1997
Creator: McAffee, Douglas; Raczka, Norman & Schwartztrauber, Keith
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department