Automated line

KEP Nuclear develop complete solutions in order to handle the drums containing nuclear material from one measuring station to the other so that exposition to nuclear radiation of the workers is reduced and the flux of material is optimized in term of safety and cycle rate.

 

The drum is laid down on a motorized conveyor and enters in a control enclosure. The operator validates the beginning of the cycle. The drum is positioned and ready to be handled by a gripper system. By means of a Cartesian robot, multi-axis robot or an automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV), drum is placed on each measuring station from the entrance conveyor to an exit conveyor.

Different stations can be implemented, for instance:

  • Weighing station of the drum
  • W-Ray station to have some qualitative information what is inside the drum
  • Gamma spectrometry station to measure the percentage of nuclides contained in the drum and their nature. The gamma spectrometer module can integrates lead shields in order that the measurement is not disturbed by the other drums that could be present near the station.
  • Neutron counting station used to measure the nuclides which emit neutrons contained inside the drum such as 240Pu.
  • Calorimeter station to control the power emitted by the sample contained in the drum. This information will be used combined with gamma spectrometry data to obtain precise quantitative information about the radionuclides.

An exit conveyor drives the drum outside the complete measuring line.

 

The line is completely automatized and check of the measurement station is done periodically on every point of drum position. For instance, detection systems validate the absence or presence of the drum inside the gripper system thanks also to redundant information given by the gripper system itself. Detection of the drum on each measuring station is also done.

Specific software development makes possible to combine information coming from the different station. The information are collected, used and transferred in a data base developed by KEP nuclear or by the customer. All the information enables the tracking of the drum and the right classification in term of energy for their good transportation and storage.