RSCS sponsored a Technology Expo at our Seabrook NH facility to demonstrate several high technology solutions to nuclear decommissioning decision makers who are planning for the D&D of complex non-routine nuclear sites. We have been working with several vendors of cutting-edge robotics, imaging and in-situ sampling technologies to provide a comprehensive solution for assessing high radiologically impacted areas. Our integrated technology solution combined with our years of experience in decommissioning drove impactful discussions on how to best approach some of the most difficult decommissioning projects in the USA.
Our Technology Expo provided a detailed overview and full demonstration of how new technology can provide data that enhances our advanced modeling capabilities. RSCS has built powerful 3D Building Information Models (BIM) from nuclear facility designs and standard operational survey data sets and have developed dynamic and interactive asset inventories for several nuclear sites. Imaging and data collected from advanced technologies augment these complex models which are coupled to site and regional Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in one Common Data Environment (CDE), resulting in highly detailed 3D maps of radiological conditions within nuclear plants, their subsurfaces, and surrounding regions. We have harnessed the power of robotics and remote detection and sampling technologies to provide this data through radiological assessments that are ALARA and low risk. Once a remote survey is completed and data is integrated into 3DCDE models, plant management has the information they need to determine areas that are safe to perform more comprehensive manned surveys to further enhance the data set. Final models can then be used for decision making on workflow and execution. As D&D efforts proceed, the dynamic models can be routinely updated to track the removal of assets and source term and make determinations on the appropriate waste classifications and demolition sequences and strategies. RSCS experience has confirmed that detailed front-end and in-process characterizations provide the most efficient means for effective work planning, which positively impacts cost, schedule adherence, regulatory compliance and worksite safety.
Following a series of presentations, decision makers where provided with hands-on live demonstrations of the technologies discussed, which included the Trek robot that integrates LIDAR-scanning to provide comprehensive 3D models of an area, and the WARP robot that provides radiological dose rates, air sampling, smear data and gamma distribution and isotopic identification, imaging and mapping using H3D’s CZT detectors. Finally, our WARP was equipped with a Viridian Scope laser extraction system that sampled the surface layer of concrete for radioactive contamination. These remotely operated robots and assessment technologies can safely enter high radiation areas to provide data on the current conditions inside the impacted areas. This assessment solution provides our clients with the ability to investigate areas with ambient dose rates up to 100 R/h that are impractical to characterize using traditional techniques.
The robotic platforms demonstrated are industrial strength, can withstand harsh environments, fit into confined and constrained spaces, and navigate successfully around obstacles. The Trek robot was designed and built to perform complex navigational operations such as walking up stairs. WARP performs diverse analytical operations using a custom designed and built payload management system that allows for efficient room or cubicle entries. To test and demonstrate the capabilities of these robotic platforms and technologies, a full scale realistic shielded equipment room was built including components, radiological conditions and entry challenges. The mock-up environment provided an ideal backdrop for demonstrating the power and capacity of this next generation integrated technology solution.
RSCS is proud to offer this state-of-the-art technology to the nuclear decommissioning industry. After our participants observed several full-scale live demonstrations, they were convinced of the readiness and utility of this technology for their sites and are already envisioning new ways to use this assessment technology to benefit their decommissioning efforts. RSCS looks forward to deploying this fully integrated and functioning capability and incorporating future technologies to our platforms to adapt to the needs of our clients across our industries.