Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the uses of robots in the nuclear power industry, with an emphasis on newer developments and applications. Design/methodology/approach – Following an introduction to the nuclear industry, this paper considers robotic applications in two areas: test and inspection and decommissioning. A range of products, applications and case histories are discussed. Findings – It is shown that robots are used widely for test and inspection and decommissioning tasks. The majority are highly specialised and are frequently produced by specialist nuclear engineering companies. The main robotic test and inspection techniques are visual inspection, ultrasonics and eddy current and the use of robots reflects both the need to minimise operator exposure to radiation and the frequent difficulties in accessing critical components such as pressure vessel welds and steam generator tubes. Key decommissioning uses include handling and size reduction of contaminated materials, cutting and demolition. Originality/value – This paper provides details of inspection and decommissioning robots in the nuclear power industry.
Industrial Robot: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 8, 2011
Keywords: Robots; Nuclear energy industry; Nuclear reactors; Nuclear radiation; Inspection
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