Irradiation Assessment of a Lightweight Industrial Robot – Towards Faster, Safer and Sooner Waste Decommissioning

Kaiqiang Zhang, Chris Hutson*, James Knighton, Herrmann Guido, Thomas Bligh Scott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper

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Abstract

Robotic systems have been successfully applied in the nuclear industry for several decades as a safe approach to minimize the exposure dose of human operators. As nuclear waste management and decommissioning gathers pace, there is an emerging interest integrating modern off-the-shelf industrial robots in nuclear robotic systems which make use of complex electronics and software to improve functionality over traditional machines. The use of the industrial robots will significantly increase the pace of development of automated waste management systems at a reduced cost, and although these off-theshelf robots are proven robust in typical industrial environments, performance in radioactive environments is less clear. This paper investigates the performance degradation of a lightweight industrial robot (KUKA iiwa 7 LBR 800) in a controlled radiation field, aiming to simulate conditions in highly radioactive nuclear waste handling facilities. The degradation of the industrial robot’s performance is identified while measuring the air kerma dose-tolerance of sensitive components, via a systematic experimental methodology. The experience from this experiment has demonstrated the significant capabilities of industrial robots, which tolerated a large gamma dose of 164 Gy before a system failure. Future tests are planned, aiming to enable faster, safer and sooner waste management and decommissioning using complex robotic systems
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2020
EventWM2020 Conference -
Duration: 8 Mar 202012 Mar 2020

Conference

ConferenceWM2020 Conference
Period8/03/2012/03/20

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