January 17

Radiation Source (Hot Spot) Removal

One of Ontario’s primary energy utilities had a remote radioactive hot spot that needed to be retrieved, shielded, and disposed of.

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The Challenge

The hot spot in question was considered the “hottest in the world” meaning that the radiation being emitted from it was estimated at 450,000 rem/hr. With such a great level, it was too dangerous and too remote for a human worker of any kind to perform the task manually. Coupled with that, the area in which the hot spot was located was small, confined and needed significant work to remove that would be tedious for a human.

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The Solution

Promation proposed a fully automated solution consisting of the design, manufacture, testing and deployment of a series of robotic tools to perform the work. Given the complexity, Promation identified that partnering with the right company would augment their own skills and benefit the project. The final customized tooling was able to, under remote operator control, rad survey the SG hot leg containing the hot spot, cut and remove the insulation, freeze the pipe to contain the particle, cut and remove the section of pipe containing the hot particle, and deposit the pipe with the hot particle safely into a shielded flask.

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The Benefit

Promation Nuclear demonstrated they could effectively partner with another nuclear services provider to assemble a powerful team that was able to prepare customized tooling quickly, safely, and cost-effectively. This work was done on schedule and without a single human performance or safety incident.

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